Tuesday, February 25

Yak Yak Yak: A deathly hush

- June 14, 2016

One hardly dares mention it, but it seems like a few weeks have now passed without an international entertainment figure passing away (and in truth, by the time you read this, who knows who the grim reaper might have picked off).
It’s been a strange year with so many heroes being taken, but it has meant that many of us have revisited the music and entertainments that thrilled us as we grew up. I have listened to every Bowie album again, and I have wondered at the talent of the man, not only the brilliance of his hits but also his unerring dedication to trying things new. I can remember getting home with the album ‘Station To Station’ and sitting back in wonderment at the extraordinary content.
I did the same and listened once again to Prince. What an extraordinary talent he was and how I enjoyed delving back into his great catalogue of popular music. _89334039_wood_dinnerladies_bbcpa
As the news revealed death after death it seemed that a strange force was at play, so many and so many so young. It was the announcement that Victoria Wood had died that struck me most. Similar in age to me, from Lancashire too, it did not seem possible that she had died – but she had, taken far too young.
Wood’s work was so poignant, so extraordinary that I often felt that she had been spying on my life. Her ability to capture an essence of the North West that I grew up in, a sense of humour that I feel is entrenched in the region, had over the years made me laugh out loud and openly weep. There was a blunt delivery of truth in her work, never apologetic. She could deliver comedy and tragedy with the lightest touch or the force of a steam hammer. When it came to language she was a master, poetic, dramatic and deft with rhyme and to meter. For the last few weeks I have watched Dinnerladies over and over. It may well have been packaged as a situation comedy, but it was far more than that, it was genius.


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