No. 1 Wood

Victoria named UK's funniest woman

Victoria Wood has been voted Britain's funniest woman.

The 52-year-old topped a poll of more than 4,000 people, beating Dawn French into second place.

But very few recent stars have made the grade, with 38-year-old Caroline Aherne the youngest star on the list.

Paul O'Grady's alter-ego Lily Savage even got two votes in the nationwide poll, conducted by BMRB.

Simon Hemelryk, an editor at Reader's Digest, which commissioned the poll, said: "Comedy has traditionally been a man's world and the poll highlights how recently female comics have cracked the mainstream.

"Of the top 10, only two are not current performers, comedienne and raconteur Joyce Grenfell and Carry On star Hattie Jacques.

"There was notable lack of really new talent in the poll, even with the younger respondents - Linda Smith and Gina Yashere each scored a measly five votes and rising star Catherine Tate didn't feature at all."

The list is:

  1. Victoria Wood
  2. Dawn French
  3. Jo Brand
  4. Jennifer Saunders
  5. Julie Walters
  6.  Joyce Grenfell
  7.  Hattie Jacques
  8.  Joanna Lumley
  9. Maureen Lipman
  10. Kathy Burke
  11. Hylda Baker
  12. Patricia Routledge
  13. Barbara Windsor
  14. Marti Cane
  15. Pam Ayres
  16. Dame Thora Hird
  17.  Meera Syal
  18. Caroline Aherne

Published: 1 Aug 2005

Today's comedy-on demand picks


This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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