Manchester

Victoria Wood statue backed by hometown council

Victoria Wood maquette Image copyright Graham Ibbeson
Image caption Images of a smaller draft version of the statue was submitted to Bury Council

A statue to honour Victoria Wood is to be erected close to the library she smuggled books out of as a child being too shy to become a member.

The 2.25m (7ft) statue, sited in Library Gardens, Bury, will depict the star as she appeared on ITV's An Audience with Victoria Wood.

She sent the library an apology letter in 1999, enclosing £100 to pay for the stolen books, her biographer says.

Bafta-award winner comedian Wood died of cancer in April 2016 aged 62.

The impetus for the statue, which is being crafted by sculptor Graham Ibbeson, came from family and friends of Wood, who have been raising funds for it.

The online appeal has raised more than £20,000 of its £30,000 cost with mini versions being sold in the town's art gallery.

A council spokesman said work on the statue should begin later this year.

Image caption Victoria Wood died in 2016

The statue has been created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson who is responsible for the Eric Morecambe statue on Morecambe promenade.

Wood, who attended Bury Grammar School, was born in the suburban town of Prestwich which is five miles away from Bury town centre.

Her biographer Neil Brandwood said the young Wood spent a lot of time in the library.

Also an actor, singer and writer, Wood was probably best known for her 1980s comedy series Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV and for her on-screen partnership with Julie Walters in the comedy sketch series Wood and Walters.

She wrote and starred in the hit BBC sitcom Dinnerladies and branched out into drama - writing and starring in the 2006 World War Two ITV drama Housewife, 49 - an adaptation of the diaries of Nella Last - which earned her two Baftas.

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