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Summary

  1. News and updates for 20 April 2016
  2. Comedian Victoria Wood dies aged 62
  3. Aniston named 'world's most beautiful woman'
  4. Radio 1 to play more music from the UK
  5. Dame Judi Dench to appear on Countryfile
  6. Phillip Schofield to make Joseph return

Live Reporting

By Neil Smith and Chris Long

All times stated are UK

Get involved

A sad farewell

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

That's all we have time for, on a live page that has been understandably taken over by the sad news of Victoria Wood's death.

It's only fitting, though, that we should give her the last word, with a song she might almost have written for this very occasion.

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Victoria Wood's big break due to make-up lady's 'nagging'

Paul Stewart Laing, who gave Victoria Wood her big break with a place on TV talent show New Faces in, says it was all thanks to one of the programme's make-up ladies:

She used to nag all the time, 'you've got to see this girl, she's so funny'. Her sister was at Birmingham University with Victoria and she thought she ought to have a chance on a talent show.

So eventually after a lot of nagging, I'm glad that we did, she came onto New Faces and she won it... she obviously went on to bigger things.

Rhod Gilbert: Victoria Wood had 'funny bones'

Comedian Rhod Gilbert has added his voice to the tributes being paid to Victoria Wood.

He told BBC Radio Wales:

She was one of the greats... stand-up, sketch writer, musician. Her various characters and costumes - she was physically so funny, her eyes, her face, her comic timing, everything.

She captured the mundane side of everyday life perfectly. She had that thing... she walks through a door at the back of a sketch and you're laughing already. She's the very definition of funny bones.

Lord Bragg: Victoria Wood was a 'great, original talent'

Lord Bragg, who presented the arts programme The South Bank Show - which featured Victoria Wood more than once - said she was "an inspiration for so many women stand-ups".

She was the first to take it on and go all round the country and she was the first to crack this idea that a woman could do everything right across the spread.

She admired Joyce Grenfell, who was marvellous, but she could do Dickensian things like create these wonderful characters at Acorn Antiques and so on.

I think she was a great, original talent and I was rather choked up when I heard the news.

Victoria Wood's theatrical successes

Victoria Wood was not just a TV star; she also wrote extensively for the theatre, starting with her first play Talent, which premiered at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre Studio in 1978.

It was adapted for TV a year later, with Wood and Julie Walters starring. Twelve months on, her second play Good Fun opened at the same theatre. 

Wood went on to write a musical, Acorn Antiques, which had a sold-out run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2005. 

A documentary about the making of the show was broadcast the same year before the show toured the UK in 2006 and 2007.

In 2009 she revisited her first effort when she directed a new version of Talent at the Old Laundry in Windermere, which then transferred to the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

Victoria Wood on Today

Here's a clip of Victoria Wood from 2011, telling Radio 4's Today programme about how she had always felt drawn to the north of England and her thoughts on the so-called North-South divide.

Bridesmaids director 'very sad' to hear of Wood's death

A tweet from Paul Feig, the American director of Bridesmaids, Spy and the upcoming Ghostbusters remake, shows that Wood's comic genius was not just celebrated by British audiences.

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Wood 'understood the way Northern people spoke'

Poet Ian McMillan, a friend of Victoria Wood's, has praised her use of language.

She understood the way that Northern people spoke and she understood our syntax and she understood the way that Northern place names and Northern Christian or surnames could become funny.

She could actually make a kind of poetry out of the way that we talked, and it was poignant, and it was funny, and it was clever.

Labour leader pays tribute to Victoria Wood

A look back at the life and work of Victoria Wood, following the death of the writer, director, actress and comedian.

League of Gentlemen stars remember Victoria Wood

Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith, fellow members of the League of Gentlemen comedy team, had this to say about Victoria Wood.

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View more on twitter

Victoria Wood in her own words

Here are some memorable quotes from Victoria Wood about one of her favourite subjects - sex.

In my day we didn't have sex education, we just picked up what we could off the television... and as far as I was concerned, if Pinky and Perky didn't do it, I didn't want to know about it.

I once went to one of those parties where everyone throws their car keys into the middle of the room. I don't know who got my moped, but I drove that Peugeot for years.

I once found myself in bed with a man who was a real do-it-yourself enthusiast. He ripped off all his clothes and said 'What would you like me to do?' I said, 'Well, really I'd like you to fix my overflow and re-point my brickwork.'

My boyfriend had a sex manual but he was dyslexic. I was lying there and he was looking for my vinegar.

See Wood's biography page on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for more.

Sir Lenny 'devastated' by Victoria Wood's death

Sir Lenny Henry has joined those sharing their thoughts on the death of Victoria Wood.

I am devastated - this is very, very sad news. Victoria will be sorely missed.

Always funny, she worked incredibly hard. A killer stand-up and a fantastic songwriter. My condolences to all her family.

James Corden 'grateful' to have seen Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood in pictures

The About the BBC blog has gathered together a photo gallery of some of their favourite shots from Victoria Wood's career.

Julie Walters and Victoria Wood in 'Pat and Margaret'
BBC
Victoria Woods as Bren in Dinnerladies (1999)
BBC
Victoria Wood in Victoria Wood's Sketch Show Story (2001)
BBC

You can see more of the photos here.

Victoria Wood on her love of music

'Another great taken from us'

The tributes keep coming in for Victoria Wood, whose death at the age of 62 has been such a huge shock to so many of us this Wednesday afternoon.

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View more on twitter
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Victoria Wood 'a huge loss', says Esther Rantzen

Victoria Wood on That's Life
BBC

One of Victoria Wood's early breaks came when she appeared on BBC One's That's Life! in 1976.

Esther Rantzen, the show's long-time presenter, has been sharing her memories.

She once said about me, 'I don't know why they go on about her teeth - have you seen her dresses?', which I thought was quite fair.

She did a one-woman show for Childline where I felt hugely privileged to interview her and she told the story of her life with such wit. She just held us all enchanted for a whole evening.

I think she is one of our greatest comic writers and performers, but she could also deal with serious issue as well, and she's a huge loss.

Film stars pay tribute to Victoria Wood

Film stars Richard E Grant and Minnie Driver have joined the chorus of tributes to Victoria Wood on Twitter.

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View more on twitter

Victoria Wood's brother pays tribute

Victoria Wood's brother Chris said her death "has robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation".

John Cleese: Victoria Wood a 'superlative performer'

BBC director general pays tribute to Victoria Wood

Tony Hall, the BBC's director general, has paid the following tribute to Victoria Wood:

Victoria Wood was a woman with a stunning array of talents - a comedian, singer, songwriter, actress and director. People identified with her warmth and great charm.

She brought people from all walks of life together and made them laugh and cry. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with her friends and family.

Victoria Wood 'an inspiration', says Jennifer Saunders

Absolutely Fabulous creator Jennifer Saunders has added her voice to the huge number of tweets marking the death of Victoria Wood at the age of 62.

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Victoria Wood's awards and honours

Victoria Wood
PA

Wood received a Bafta TV award for her As Seen On... series in 1985 and won another three years later for An Audience with Victoria Wood.

Bafta recognised her again in 2007 for Housewife 49, which won her a best actress prize and was also named best single drama.

Bafta also gave her a special award in 2005.

Wood was made an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2008.

Prime Minister pays tribute to 'national treasure' Wood

Gervais remembers 'brilliant' Wood

Comedian Ricky Gervais was among the first to pay tribute to Victoria Wood on Twitter.

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Victoria Wood - publicist statement

Victoria Wood's death was announced by her publicist Neil Reading.

Here is his statement in full.

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.

Victoria Wood's life in comedy

Victoria Wood
PA

Victoria Wood began her career on ITV talent show New Faces before becoming a household name with her BBC sketch show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV.

She went on to create the sitcom Dinnerladies and the West End musical Acorn Antiques.

BreakingVictoria Wood dies aged 62

Victoria Wood
BBC

Comedian Victoria Wood has died aged 62 after a short battle with cancer, her publicist has said.

'Kubrick-annotated' Clockwork Orange script up for auction

A Clockwork Orange script
Sworders/PA

Calling all droogs - put down your moloko, as here's something to interessovat you. It's time for you to stick your hand in your carman, gather up your pretty polly, brosay caution to the wind and bid for a zammechat piece of A Clockwork Orange history.

A script for the controversial film version of Anthony Burgess's book, believed to be annotated by director Stanley Kubrick, has been put up for auction.

The film, of course, was famously difficult to see in the UK for years, after Kubrick withdrew it a few months after its initial 1971 release due to claims it was linked to copycat violence.

Covering the first half of the screenplay, the script contains written notes and instructions that experts have matched to Kubrick's handwriting.

It goes under the hammer at Sworders auction house in Essex next Tuesday.

Oh, and appy polly loggies to non-speakers of Nadsat, the language created by Orange's author Anthony Burgess, for that earlier introduction. We didn't mean to make you feel gloopy.

Liverpool Everyman to have first resident company in 25 years

Liverpool Everyman
Matt Harrop/Geograph

In the '70s and '80s, Liverpool's Everyman theatre had one of the most vibrant and exciting companies around - among their alumni are Julie Walters, Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite, Sir Anthony Sher and Jonathan Pryce.

Now the theatre hopes to repeat that success with the founding of its first resident company in 25 years.

The new company, which will be brought together in January next year, will be made up of 14 actors, who will stage shows for half the year and work with local communities and the theatre's young perfomers group for the other six months.

The 14 will be made up of local talent and actors from across the country, with open auditions to be held in Liverpool.

Read more on this story.

Jennifer Aniston named 'world's most beautiful woman'

People

Jennifer Aniston
Getty Images

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."

A bit of Shakespeare there, and a fitting one too given that Jennifer Aniston has just been named People's most beautiful woman in the world at the age of 47.

The former Friends star told the magazine she was "very, very flattered" to receive the accolade, saying she had experienced a "very excited, teenage-y kind of moment" upon hearing the news.

But how would the owner of what was once the most imitated hairstyle in Hollywood define beauty herself? Here's what she says:

Inner confidence. Peace. Kindness. Honesty. A life well-lived. Taking on challenges and not feeling shame for things that haven't gone the way you felt they should have. And not feeling like a failure or allowing people to critique your life and make you feel like you've failed at something. That's just toxic noise.

Find out more.

Sundance London announces 2016 line-up

Robert Redford
Frank Masi

After taking a break in 2015, the Sundance Film Festival's UK spin-off returns to London this year with another diverse line-up of features, documentaries, shorts and events.

Danny DeVito, Nick Jonas and Ellen Page are just a few of the big names who feature in a programme which includes a dark comedy about a dachshund, a portrait of an embattled US politician, and the heartwarming story of an autistic boy whose love of Disney movies gave him a way to communicate.

In addition to new titles, there'll also be a chance to enjoy a selection of earlier films - The Usual Suspects and Winter's Bone among them - that made their debut at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah before going on to global success.

Here's what Sundance founder Robert Redford (pictured) has to say about it all.

I have long believed that the quality and originality of the independent films we show would be of interest to global audiences. Our Sundance Film Festival: London allows us to further help these new independent films get out into the world, starting with engaged audiences in the UK.

Sundance Film Festival: London runs from 2 to 5 June at Picturehouse Central, which has published full details about the event on its official blog.

Bill and Camille Cosby

Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, completes giving her evidence in a defamation case filed by seven women accusing the comedian of sexual assault.

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