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Journalist who wrote Victoria Wood biography pays tribute to star

Victoria WoodA former weekly journalist who wrote the only published biography of Victoria Wood has paid tribute to the comedian after her death aged 62.

Neil Brandwood spent five years chronicling the life of the entertainer after meeting her while working as a journalist in Bury.

Former Bury Times reporter Neil interviewed her in 1996 while she was on tour and was inspired to write a biography on the comic, pictured left, which came out in 2002.

She died on Wednesday after a short battle with cancer.

Neil, now a teacher, said: “When she started out, she was part of a new generation of comedians. She was very British, very northern.

“She played on the obscurities of everyday life and held a torch on those funny moments people could relate to. Victoria’s sense of humour was so northern, so dour and ironic.

“She held a spotlight on that northern way of life for the rest of the country to see; the mundanity and humour in life.

“Victoria was a pioneer. Without her, the explosion of female comedians we have now wouldn’t have happened. She was the first one, a gem.”

Neil was allowed into the archives at Bury Grammar School to find poems and pieces of fiction Ms Wood had written for the school magazine, and also looked through old Bury Times articles to help write the biography.

He added: “Writing the book was fascinating. She had so much to offer and was so talented. To see where that came from was great.

“It’s very sad news, not just for Bury, but for the whole country. Victoria had so much more to offer.”