Victoria Wood - As Seen On TV
UK, BBC, Sketch/standup, colour, 1985
Starring: Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie
A regular company of fine performers, good production values, incisive scripts and a snappy pace added up to a five-star gem in As Seen On TV. The show rarely dipped below brilliant and featured numerous delights, such as Wood's hilariously authentic dialogue and her surprisingly stinging satirical characters (Susie Blake as a continuity announcer with 'attitude', incredibly bitchy daytime TV show hosts, venomously cruel gossips, and so on). All this plus the screamingly funny continuing TV soap spoof Acorn Antiques, with its wobbly sets, sensationalist plots, appalling acting, crude camerawork and dopey dialogue, uncannily reminiscent of bad soaps in general and Crossroads in particular.
Wood was the driving force but she was wonderfully served by a cast that seemed instinctively to understand how to reap maximum effect from already fine lines. As Seen On TV firmly established Wood as the leader of a happily increasing group of female comics (French and Saunders, Ruby Wax, Tracey Ullman, Emma Thompson) thriving in what was, hitherto, a virtually exclusively male domain.
Note. Highlights from the show were broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in two half-hour programmes (18 and 25 April 1992), as Victoria Wood - As Heard On TV.
Number of episodes: 13
Length: 12 x 35 mins · 1 x 40 mins