2016 doesn’t seem to be letting up when it comes to Excellent People Dying. After David Bowie, Phife Dawg and Ronnie Corbett, now we add Victoria Wood to the nation’s collective mourning.
[A]Morrissey[A] was one of the many stars to pay tribute to the comedian, joining the likes of Lily Allen, Boy George and Lauren Laverne in marking her passing online. “Tears today for my dear friend Victoria Wood,” he wrote on his unofficial mouthpiece, fan site True To You. “So unbearable that it cannot be true. I am lost.”
Morrissey was a longterm admirer of Wood’s, who sat comfortably alongside his other northern, kitchen-sink drama canon of heroes, such as playwrights Alan Bennett and Shelagh Delaney. He was a huge fan of her 1982 show Wood and Walters – in which she starred with Julie Walters – and praised the deadpan comedy profusely. “It was very, very revolutionary,” he commented. “Not just for women but for men as well. They were completely different, very intelligent [and] it seemed to be a different kind of humour that hadn’t been on television before. A different way of thinking, a different way of telling a joke and a different way of being silly. She was very unique.”
In more recent times, Morrissey even featured on Wood’s 2013 BBC special, Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup Of Tea, where they discussed the merits of a good old cuppa. “This is just a beanie – this is what the skateboarding kids wear,” muttered Morrissey, in typically droll fashion, looking over Wood’s offering of a tea cosy. Watch the three-minute long segment below.
Morrissey’s love of Wood stretches all the way back to her 1978 play Talent, which featured ‘Fourteen Again’, a song written by Wood that inspired The Smiths’ ‘Rusholme Ruffians’. Later, whispers of another of her compositions ‘Funny How Things Turn Out’ would impact on ‘Frankly, Mr Shankly’ and 1992 solo song ‘You’re The One For Me Fatty’ came from Wood’s love of tubby magician, Geoffrey Durham, who she married in 1980.
Throughout the 1980s, Morrissey often spoke of his admiration for Wood, at one point commenting that he wanted to marry her. Wood responded: “Morrissey and I have been married for 11 months, though due to touring commitments, we have yet to meet.”
Victoria Wood died at the age of 62. The news was confirmed by Wood’s publicist Neil Reading in a statement on Wednesday (April 20), which read: “Victoria Wood has sadly passed away, after a short but brave battle with cancer. The multi BAFTA award-winning writer, director, actor and comedian died peacefully at her north London home with family this morning. She was 62. The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.”