Wood And Walters, 1982
Often forgotten about, this was Victoria Wood’s first sketch show that aired on ITV.
Victoria Wood and Julie Walters were long term friends and had both appeared together on stage in Talent that Wood had written. Then head of drama at Granada Peter Eckersley asked her to recreate it for television, which she did along with a follow up Nearly A Happy Ending. Both these shows co – starred Julie Walters.
Victoria Wood had been offered the female role in the satirical sketch show Not The Nine O’Clock News in 1979. She turned it down.
After turning down Not The Nine O’Clock News, Peter Eckersley offered Wood a sketch show of her own in 1980. Not feeling confident enough yet to go it alone, she had at this point only ever written one sketch three years earlier before being given her own show, she agreed on condition Walters received equal billing.
A thirty minute pilot was screened on 1st January 1981, containing a mixture of songs and sketches. Much to Wood’s surprise the show was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Light Entertainment Program.
A series followed a year later, but it would not last long in the intervening time the show’s producer (and Wood’s mentor) Peter Eckersley had died of cancer.
Victoria Wood was not impressed by his replacement and decided to call it a day after just one series. Wood and Walters would work together again on Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV.
The show was a mixture of sketches, Wood’s trademark songs, weekly guidance from Walters’ fearsome agony aunt Dorothea Chubb, and special guests including Rik Mayall, John Dowie and long-term associate Duncan Preston.
Victoria Wood and Julie Walters
Written By: Victoria Wood
Original Transmission Dates
1st January 1981 – Pilot
1st January 1982 – 21st February 1982 Series