THERE are some revealing moments in a new TV profile of Victoria Wood.
The Bury-raised writer, performer and self-confessed perfectionist says she always thinks she could do things a bit better.
“I don’t rely on any flash of genius to see me through any of these things that I do,” she tells ITV1’s The South Bank Show.
“I think lots of people could do what I do, if they spend that much time doing them.”
I first saw Victoria on stage in 1982 when she starred in Funny Turns at the Duchess Theatre in London.
That revue also featured her, then, husband Geoffrey Durham as comedy magician The Great Soprendo.
I’ve since spoken to Victoria when she’s launched TV projects like Dinnerladies and Housewife, 49.
She tells interviewer Melvyn Bragg: “I think I’ve been really lucky – I think I slipped through a crack somewhere.
“I think I was really lucky to get into sixth form and to go on to university, because I had no O-levels.
“So I think I have been quite fortunate in the start of my career and quite fortunate to arrive in television at a time when there were things like talent shows and there were news programmes that used topical songs.
“I don’t think I would have a hope in hell of having the same career now.”
Victoria also has something interesting to say about celebrity, which she examined in her 1994 TV drama Pat and Margaret.
She played motorway waitress Margaret, reunited with long lost sister Patricia via the Magic Moments TV show – a fictional version of Cilla’s Surprise Surprise.
The twist was that Pat, played by Julie Walters, was now one of the highest paid actresses in American TV and didn’t want anything to do with what she perceived to be her dead-end sister.
“I was intrigued by people who actually thought that they were a better person for being known by lots of people and that, that actually elevated them,” explains Victoria.
“I was quite interested in anybody who believed the things that were written about them and who lived their life on that plane.”
Victoria agrees that Pat and Margaret were, to some extent, both her.
“Yeah, it was. It was that battle between the one who can never get on, the impotent person, and the one who’s so determined to get on, there’s no room for anything else.”
And there’s a sense of how guarded Victoria can be about her private life when she’s asked about recent ITV1 drama Housewife, 49.
“It was a way of thinking about relationships without anybody referring them back to me, or thinking they were anything to do with me and my own relationships.”
The South Bank Show: Victoria Wood is screened on ITV1 at 10.45pm on Sunday March 11.
You can read more in the online version of the MEN TV feature here.