Belfast Telegraph

Julie Walters on Victoria Wood: 'We weren't alike and that's why we got on'

The actress has been sharing her memories of her friend for a new BBC series about the late comedian.

Julie Walters has said she thought Victoria Wood was her soul mate when they first met, but quickly realised they were polar opposites.

The actress, a close friend and long-time collaborator of the late Victoria, will be fronting the first episode in a six-part series celebrating the life and work of the comedian, who died of cancer in April last year.

Julie, who presents the debut of Our Friend Victoria on BBC One on Tuesday, talks about her friendship with Victoria during the episode.

She said: “I felt that we were soul mates when I first met her, but the longer we worked together, the more I realised we weren’t alike at all and that’s why we got on in so many ways.

“She approached stuff almost like a scientist. She was terribly organised, completely the opposite of me.”

Julie said she loved playing Mrs Overall, a character in Victoria’s 1980s sitcom Acorn Antiques, “more than anything I’ve ever played in my life”.

The star of Educating Rita and Billy Elliot also spoke about her friend’s ambition and lack of nerves.

She said: “She was actually quite shy in many ways, but she wanted her work recognised.

“She wanted to be seen doing her work, but she wasn’t somebody who wanted to be, say, photographed at The Ivy.

“She wasn’t even daunted by performing in the Albert Hall. That was the difference between her and absolutely everyone else I know in the business – she wasn’t nervous.

“She said, ‘Oh no, I’m excited. I’m not nervous.’ She didn’t have those destructive nerves.”

Our Friend Victoria, which showcases clips from work throughout Victoria’s career, will see Richard E Grant front episode two and will feature tributes from stars including Celia Imrie, Anne Reid, Maxine Peake and Michael Ball throughout the series.

:: Our Friend Victoria airs on BBC One on Tuesday at 9.30pm.

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