Following Victoria Wood sad passing on Wednesday, her brother Chris Foote Wood has spoken out and has paid her an emotional tribute. The comedian died aged 62, following a short battle with cancer.
Appearing ITV's Good Morning Britain via video link from his home in County Durham, politician Chris heaped praise on his sister and insisted the nation has lost one of its best-loved public figures.
He said: "It's quite obvious that Victoria is even more loved by the public than perhaps we thought she was because in all her years that she's been working on various endeavours the public have really taken her to their hearts and everything she's done in the last 30 years has been very popular.
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Victoria Wood passed away aged 62 following a short battle with cancer
"People remember Victoria and her performances and that's a wonderful thing that although we've lost her at a very early age, she's left all this wonderful work behind we can enjoy again and again."
Throughout her long and successful career, Victoria starred in various BBC comedies including Dinnerladies, and was known for her work with long-term collaborator and friend Julie Walters.
Her brother Chris Foote Wood praised her for her successful career
Revealing just how much admiration he had for her, Chris continued: "I count myself as Victoria's biggest fan… I was always bragging and boasting about her because I was so proud to have such a genius in the family. It's my great honour particularly from the earliest days when she struggled quite a lot to come across, because let's remember she didn't become famous overnight. She had quite a few years of struggle and difficulty, but it's a credit to her absolute determination to push through and win her career from sheer hard work."
News of Victoria's illness and subsequent passing came as a shock to her fans, and Chris revealed his sister was determined to keep her battle separate from her life in the public eye.
He said: "When it came to her final illness she was absolutely determined that it should not leak out, that it should be kept very quiet with her and her immediate family and obviously her wishes were complied with and that's why with some respects it was such a shock when we found out that she'd died because very few people knew that she had a terminal illness."