Victoria Wood's Mid-Life Christmas Page 8


Phil Cottrell

  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 6:06am
  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • 43 posts

As we're making the most of our UK IP address this holiday season, I recommended the VW special to my wife based (largely) on reputation. I winced through most of it and at the end, my wife pronounced it "cute" (in the voice that my late mother used when she said "well, it was different" to damn something with faint praise).


David Carmon

  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 10:33am
  • Cheshire, England
  • 2,030 posts

Just watched it on iPlayer.

Not great really. I had a few laughs and a bit of a polite smile but I wasn't left wanting more. I almost turned it off after 38 minutes. The Cranford spoof was poor, Julie Walters had some funny bits but was also below par. I hated the Olympic thing, not funny. The church scene was ok but didn't really get it.

Song at the end was decent enough, didn't find the dancers funny though.

Overall it was ok but I wish I hadn't watched it. I really like Victoria Wood and was looking forward to seeing this. Even My Family had more laughs and that was a bit dire as well this year.


Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 1:22pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,124 posts
Quote: Renegade Carpark @ December 27 2009, 12:06 AM GMT

when are you going to realise that Victoria Wood was funny a long, long time ago with her Alan Bennett character rip offs and her Richard Stilgoe type musical numbers. Bennett and Stilgoe in one is like Superman and Stephen Hawkins getting into the Brundle Pod and emerging as the most bestest super hero ever.

Yes, someone's got her about right at last, that is Victoria Wood - A comedienne who based her act on an out of date music hall style at a time when British comedy had already been through the Ben Elton revolution. Brave but risky. She was funny and extremely successful because she used Alan Bennett like northern colloquialisms and poked gentle fun at loveably eccentric parochials, most of them female. She used the female comedy card really well and became an icon for millions of them - then French & Saunders and their spikier sidekicks came along, including the awful American gobshite Ms Wax, and bam, Ms Wood was knocked spinning from her throne. Her act now seemed ancient to many and yet she just could not really adapt it to modern tastes, and began to whinge like billyo everytime her return to TV was slated. She is now, alas, the female Freddie Starr of comedy.


Ronnie Anderson

  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 3:40pm
  • England
  • 587 posts

She is not. If she had a series (which I guess she could if she wanted) the old fashioned elements will be slated after the first show however over six eps herextroadinary will win through and it will be viewed as a classic in the same way dinnerladies is.

Dinnerladies does have many faults however it is often in a lot of best ever sitcom lists normally around number thirty.


Matthew Stott

  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 5:24pm
  • Yemen
  • 19,296 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ December 27 2009, 8:22 AM GMT

Yes, someone's got her about right at last,

Yeah, God forbid people might have a different opinion to yourself. :)



  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 8:59pm
  • Hampshire, England
  • 2,677 posts
Quote: Phil Cottrell @ December 27 2009, 1:06 AM GMT

As we're making the most of our UK IP address this holiday season, I recommended the VW special to my wife based (largely) on reputation. I winced through most of it and at the end, my wife pronounced it "cute" (in the voice that my late mother used when she said "well, it was different" to damn something with faint praise).

Yeah, shame. Some of Victoria Wood's previous stuff has indeed been worth recommending... but this really wasn't was it? Giving her just half-hour would have been much better I think, it'd have allowed the excess to have been cut out (they put all that effort into making The Apprentice boardroom, only to go and do a single naff sketch in it).

AvatarBCG Supporter


  • Sunday 27th December 2009, 10:26pm
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts

Not great, but it had a few moments (e.g. Bo Beaumont does Who Do You Think You are? - "she wouldn't tell them her real name or when she was born".

Interesting that VW ditched the celebrity lovefest of her last Christmas special - which may be the reason that the star-pulling-power obsessed BBC execs downshifted the show to a Christmas Eve slot.


johnny smith

  • Monday 28th December 2009, 4:23am
  • England
  • 279 posts

'Outnumbered' has just shown 'The Royle Family' and 'Victoria Wood's Mid-Life Christmas' how to do a Christmas special properly - 40 mins long and not one minute wasted!


Ian G

  • Sunday 3rd January 2010, 5:41pm
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

I enjoyed 'Midlife Christmas', though I agree that it was a little laboured in parts ('Lark Pies..' mainly). I don't understand the criticism of her for the Alan Bennett comparisons,though. Genuine wit and subtlety doesn't date in my opinion and the recent repeats of Talking Heads showed just what a genuine writer can do.


James Cotter

  • Tuesday 5th January 2010, 2:10am
  • Exeter, Devon, England
  • 1,593 posts

Absolutely sensational. Victoria Wood is the Queen of Comedy Angelic

I loved the special from beginning to end. Every sketch crackled with wit and humour :D

The updated Ballard of Barry and Freda (Let's Do It) was by far the show stopper. The new updated lyrics was great. And the whole song and dance number. Just sublime.

How come every time I see Victoria Wood on the telly she seems to get younger and younger?

I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of her soon :D Stand up or a new show. Who knows but she seems to be enjoying comedy again after her BAFTA Award winning foray into serious acting.

Long live The Queen.


Jane P

  • Tuesday 5th January 2010, 6:42pm [Edited]
  • Chichester, England
  • 1,071 posts
Quote: Renegade Carpark @ December 26 2009, 2:46 PM GMT

So make up your minds fickle heads - either this was great (like everything else VW has ever made ever) or it was shit.

*RC sits back in his throne made of 'I told you so's' wearing his 'right as usual' crown*

Eek are they my only choices!? Huh

Just caught up on this thread and the VW Christmas shows.

I wonder what the truth was around this one. Why didn't Geoff Posner get to produce it? I'd have thought VW would have enough clout around her own shows these days - but maybe not.

I wasn't impressed after looking forward to it. I can't remember any sketches I realy liked and it's partly a personal taste thing but I don't watch period dramas and rarely enjoy their parodies either so that was a big chunk fast forwarded for me.

And I do speak as a fan of her previous work - love dinnerladies, Acorn Antiques, saw her play Talent recently and enjoyed many of her previous sketch shows and stand up performances - not for everyone but what is?

Hopefully this was just a blip.



Daniel Maya

  • Sunday 10th January 2010, 8:19pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 14 posts

It was muuch better than the My Family special shown before it on the same night, but it was only really funny in parts. I think it would have been better with the addition of Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston and many more scenes with the hialrious Julie Walters, whom I personally find a funnier performer than Victoria Wood. Julie Walters is one of the best and most versatile actresses ever- she can probably play any character.


Rob Ster

  • Tuesday 26th January 2010, 2:28pm
  • Northern Ireland
  • 21 posts

Well I enjoyed it anyhow, so there lol


James Cotter

  • Monday 14th June 2010, 9:01pm
  • Exeter, Devon, England
  • 1,593 posts

What was the deal about Wood's Short Term Memories? Why did they re-run a Christmas Special in June only six month after it originally aired. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but I found the whole concept a tad unusual. Anyone know what was the decision behind this?


Steve Sunshine

  • Monday 14th June 2010, 9:06pm
  • Dagenham, England
  • 14,556 posts

I doubt it was by overwhelming public demand.
I think Victoria Wood is great, but the last couple of specials I've seen aren't a patch on her earlier work.