Entertainment & Arts

Victoria Wood fans to choose star's memorial statue

Victoria Wood Image copyright PA
Image caption Wood was a Bafta award-winning comedian, actor, singer and writer

Fans of Victoria Wood have been given the chance to choose the character for a planned memorial statue of the star in Bury, the town where she grew up.

The star's brother, Chris Foote Wood, launched a campaign in July to erect a life-size sculpture of the entertainer.

Fans will be able to choose between Wood's Brenda "Bren" Furlong from Dinnerladies or Kimberley's Friend via an online vote.

Wood died of cancer in April at the age of 62.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dame Judi Dench's donation was described as a "massive boost" by Foote Wood

The statue will be a solid bronze piece costing £20,000 - Foote Wood has already raised £18,000, including a £1,000 donation from Dame Judi Dench, via a crowdfunder appeal.

Foote Wood said: "From the start I wanted Victoria's fans to choose which character they would like to see portrayed.

"We had to rule out her at the piano because a piano in solid bronze would cost as much again as the statue itself.

"So it will be down to two of Victoria's most popular characters, Bren from Dinnerladies in her canteen smock or Kimberley's Friend in mac and beret."

'Famous daughter'

Currently, Kimberley's Friend is ahead with 81% of the vote, with Bren on just 19%. It costs £2 to cast a vote.

Bury Council has agreed to provide the site and be in charge of the maintenance.

Assuming the funding target is met, the memorial will be built in Library Gardens in Manchester Road by May or June next year.

Council leader Rishi Shori said: "I'm really pleased that Bury Council has been able to support this project.

"Victoria Wood is one of the borough's most famous daughters and it is only fitting that there should be a permanent tribute in her home town.

"I hope when the sculpture is finally installed it will provide inspiration to others to follow their dreams."

The poll closes at noon on Monday 17 October.


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