Victoria Wood’s Midlife Christmas

Victoria Wood's Midlife Christmas

Coming hot off the heels of the recent documentary, delving into the sparsely recorded life of Victoria Wood, the newest Christmas special came blasting hilariously onto the screen last night. Luckily the advent of iPlayer means that you can watch hundreds of times until it expires.

Taking the cue from the surprise hits of the century; Cranford and Larkrise To Candleford, The Apprentice (where Wood and an actor playing Nick to her Margaret dance their way around the boardroom between appearances of Surallan) stopping off at a slew of reality TV shows on the way.

Along the way we visit the life Beau Beaumont, the actress who played the real star of Acorn Antiques, Mrs. Overall as she traverses the ebbs and flows of modern day celebrity, looking for a way to get herself back on top. On the way, she explores the I’m A Celeb offices, Dancing On Ice with Torvill and Dean (playing themselves) and contemplates appearing on Delia Smith’s newest roving cookery show. None of which suit her needs. What really stands out is the dependant relationship Beaumont has with the single member of her entourage, a desperately sad woman called Wendy, which definitely verges on a quasi-lesbian coupling. It’s almost as sad as the Catherine Tate sketch where that lovesick woman trawls the internet looking for potential love, only to be disappointed at every turn. A bit of a headscratcher, and a definite thought provoking look at the hangeronners of modern day celebrity culture; people who would do anything and everyone to make sure that their idol is happy.

This Christmas special really puts Wood back on top, where she belongs, amid the seasonal mainstays of The Royle Family and Only Fools And Horses, making people laugh between mouthfuls of mince pies and the family sized boxes of Miniature Heroes.

I can honestly say that, although I was looking forward to watching it, I didn’t think that it would be as good as it was.

If a slap across the face of modern culture isn’t enough for you, Wood has also rewritten the words to her most famous song of all time, the one where she sings about slapping someone on the bottom with the Woman Weekly.

Definitely one to be watched year in year out, along with the most memorable Only Fools episodes.


  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1