“I worshipped her” - Delia Smith pays tribute to Victoria Wood

Delia Smith and Victoria Wood while filming on set for the 2009 Victoria Wood Mid Life Christmas.

Delia Smith and Victoria Wood while filming on set for the 2009 Victoria Wood Mid Life Christmas. - Credit: Archant

It was a friendship forged between fine cuisine and school dinners.

Delia Smith has led the countless tributes paid to national treasure Victoria Wood, describing her as a 'genius'.

The firm friends appeared in regular Christmas television specials together and Ms Wood even wrote the foreword to one of her cookery books.

Ms Smith paid the heartfelt tribute to her friend of around 20 years after hearing the comedian and actress had lost a brief battle with cancer.

She released a photograph of the pair together on the set of Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas in 2009, falling at the feet of her comedy hero.


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'This picture, whilst filming a BBC Christmas Special, is me telling Victoria that I worshipped her,' she said. 'I did. And anyone who knows me knows that. She made me laugh more than any other person in my life, and she always said that I remembered more of her jokes than she did.

'She was a genius, and life will not be the same without her.'

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Just three years ago, it was Ms Wood who presented Ms Smith with her Bafta Special Award, at a retrospective tribute event celebrating her career.

Ms Wood also held a special place in her heart for Norwich, describing it as 'the nicest place I have ever been' when filming around the city for a sketch show in 1984.

She visited the Theatre Royal for a one-night show on November 12, 1987, and returned behind the scenes with a stage version of Dinnerladies in 2009.

Ms Wood's publicist, Neil Reading, confirmed the news of her death in a statement yesterday afternoon.

'Victoria Wood has sadly passed away, after a short but brave battle with cancer,' he said. 'The multi Bafta award-winning writer, director, actor and comedian died peacefully at her north London home with family this morning. She was 62.'

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