Graham Ibbeson is to sculpt the Bafta-winning local, who died in April last year
Comedian, actress, singer, songwriter, screenwriter and director - to say Victoria Wood was prolific would be an understatement. A familiar presence on our TV screens for over four decades, she raised chuckles across the country with her wry observations on British culture: amassing a clutch of Bafta nods for hits like An Audience with Victoria Wood, Dinnerladies and Housewife.
Three months after the Prestwich-born star lost her battle with cancer, age 62, her brother Chris Foote Wood - inspired by Graham Ibbeson’s monument to Eric Morecambe - launched an appeal to commission a statue in her honour. Over 800 people donated, including Dame Judy Dench.
Now, Ibbeson himself is to design the statue, after Mr Wood requested his services.
Ibbeson said: “I am honoured and delighted to be chosen as the sculptor to produce a bronze portrait of the much-loved comedian Victoria Wood. Her unique humour was a product of northern roots, unpretentious, accessible, and well observed.
“I will try to mirror all these qualities in my sculpture by trying to capture the warmth of her character and personality, and also reflecting the nation’s affection (and indeed mine) for her unique talent.”
Having raised an initial £30k, an estimated further £40k is needed to ensure the statue depicts ‘the best possible representation of Victoria.’ Based in Bury, where Wood spent her formative years, the lifesize sculpture is a joint project between Victoria’s Estate and Bury Council - who will provide and maintain its location in Library Gardens.
Leader of Bury Council Rishi Shori said: "We are delighted to be working with Graham Ibbeson. We now have an artist who has done some remarkable work creating a sculpture of Victoria for Bury. Victoria visited Eric Morecambe's statue several times and admired Graham's work, so it is very fitting for him to be creating this tribute to such a talented star. I'm sure it will be very popular with her numerous fans, from Bury and across the country."