Back in October 2023, I was up in the Greater Manchester area, not performing my Victoria Wood tribute, ‘Looking For Me Friend’ for once, as I did on recent visits to Sale and Salford, but because the director of said piece – and also my best friend – the multi-talented Sarah-Louise Young was marrying a rather marvellous writer named Paul Chronnell and I was to be her Best Man.

The day after the wedding, which was splendid – thanks for asking, the lesser-spotted husband and I took a brief detour to our next destination of Exeter where the show would be performed that evening. This meant an obscenely early start (in showbiz terms), even though the car trip from Hyde to Bury is relatively brief. Because Bury is the hometown of my idol Victoria Wood, and the place where a rather now in-famous statue of her in bronze has been erected, next to Bury Art Museum.

In-famous in part because many died-in-the-wool Woodies have suggested that it looks more like the footballer Peter Beardsley than Victoria herself and, as an homage is, frankly, not good enough. I know the fans feel this because my audiences make it very clear during my show!Another homage, of course, ironically. But not set in bronze. Shortcomings of sculptor Graham Ibbeson aside – whom I’m sure meant well – a pilgrimage to this site had been on my to-do list just below ‘Buy Red Cabbage’ since it was first unveiled in May 2019.

The photograph of me forcing Bronze Vic to hug me was taken very early in the morning. Forgive me. Forgive me also for turning up dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi. There is no hope.

Almost four months on, I’m glad to report that I’ve had some lovely correspondence with the curator of Bury Art Museum, Sue Lord, who would like to add Looking For Me Friend tea towel which was inspired by the word-smithery of Victoria, into their collection about the great lady. Isn’t that super? The tea towel that got into the Sunday Supplements before I did is now going to be in a museum collection. Chuffed. I wonder which borough of Manchester we could bring the show to next.