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Stars pay tribute to Victoria Wood on Funny Girl opening night

Published 21/04/2016

David Baddiel was one of the stars who paid tribute to Victoria Wood at the Funny Girl opening night
David Baddiel was one of the stars who paid tribute to Victoria Wood at the Funny Girl opening night

Victoria Wood has been hailed as "one of the most talented women of our time" at the opening night of a musical about a female comic breaking into showbusiness.

Comedians and actors paid tribute to Wood on the red carpet at the opening of Funny Girl in the West End, starring Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice.

Comedian David Baddiel said: "I think she's an incredibly important comedian. You get bogged down a bit talking about female comedians, I don't think she should be thought of in just those terms.

"She's just a brilliant comedian that we lost but it's also true that round about the time Victoria was starting out there weren't a lot of women comedians on the telly so she was a pioneer, but she was also just really funny and unbelievably good at creating ground that meant people thought, 'she's talking about my life'. Nobody was doing that either.

"I didn't know her that well, I didn't know she was ill, but she came to see my show and afterwards we had a long chat and went home in a cab. I dropped her off at her house and I thought, 'I'm so privileged to get to share a space with these people'."

Actress Samantha Bond broke down in tears as she said: "I didn't know her but she's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember so to lose a talent like that at the age of 62 is completely devastating."

Gavin & Stacey star Alison Steadman added: "She was one of the most talented women of our time. It's terribly sad that she's gone, it really is.

"She was so clever and her simplicity of humour was so lovely, it wasn't complicated, it was just truthful and brilliant and we are going to miss her terribly."

Funny Girl runs at the Savoy Theatre until October 8.

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