FANS of talented comedienne Victoria Wood are being asked to dig deep to help raise an extra £40k for a permanent tribute to the star.

So far supporters have helped raise more than £25,000 to pay for a life-size bronze statue of star to be installed in Bury.

Graham Ibbeson, who created Morecambe’s famous Eric Morecambe monument, will design and sculpt the piece to be erected in Library Gardens in Silver Street.

The Bafta award-winning star was 62 when she died in April last year, following a battle with cancer.

She delighted audiences throughout her career with her skills both behind and in front of the camera, becoming best known for writing and starring in the hit TV sitcom Dinnerladies.

The monument comes after her brother, Chris Foote Wood, launched the ‘Let’s Do It – Victoria Wood memorial statue appeal’ campaign in August last year to raise money for the commission.

He said: “I am very pleased indeed that we have been able to obtain the services of Graham Ibbeson. It was his statue of Eric Morecambe that first inspired me to try to get something similar for my multi-talented and much-loved sister Victoria.”

He now hopes to raise a further £40,000 through his JustGiving page to make sure the statue is a proper representation of the star.

Fans voted for her memorial statue to represent Bren, her character in the hit comedy show Dinnerladies, following an online poll.

Mr Ibbeson said: “I am honoured and delighted to be chosen as the sculptor to produce a bronze portrait of the much-loved comedian Victoria Wood.

“Her unique humour was a product of ‘Northern roots’, unpretentious, accessible, and well observed.

“I will try to mirror all these qualities in my sculpture by trying to capture the warmth of her character and personality, and also reflecting the nation’s affection (and indeed mine) for her unique talent.”

The site for the statue has been provided by Bury Council.

Council leader Cllr Rishi Shori said: “We are delighted to be working with Graham Ibbeson.

“Victoria visited Eric Morecambe’s statue several times and admired Graham’s work, so it is very fitting for him to be creating this tribute to such a talented star.

“I’m sure it will be very popular with her numerous fans, from Bury and across the country.”

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