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I can remember when pants were pants. You wore them for twenty years, then you cut them down for pan scrubs. Or quilts.

“Life's not fair, is it?” comedian Victoria Wood once observed. “Some of us drink champagne in the fast lane, and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597.”

Perhaps no British showbusiness performer was more beloved than Victoria. Her death came as a tremendous shock to fans, unaware the star had been quietly living with terminal cancer.

First demonstrating her talent for comedy songs on New Faces in 1974, she soon found success in her own self-penned TV shows and found a brilliant comedy partner in pal Julie Walters.

A formidable writing and performing talent, Victoria could turn the most mundane things in life into comedy gold, from hoovering pelmets to sucking out the fillings of individual fruit pies.

Victoria’s forty-year comedy career was a series of peaks, while her role in the more serious wartime drama she wrote, Housewife 49, won a Bafta award.

“Everyone’s a national treasure these days; you can’t move for them,” she famously quipped.

“But there should only ever be one at a time. For years, it was Dame Thora Hird. After she died, it was going to be Judi Dench, but then Joanna Lumley saved the Gurkhas so she got the gig.”

Victoria became one of the nation’s best-loved treasures of all, although she was always too modest to acknowledge it.

"If you behave normally, people treat you normally,” she said.

“It’s only when you act as if you're someone special that they feel obliged to stand on ceremony.”