Victoria Wood spent her dying days writing a new sketch about tidying her sock drawer.
The 62-year-old comedian died in 2016 aged 62 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and a new biography Let’s Do It, by Jasper Rees reveals how she spent her final days.
Close friend Dame Julie Walters, 70, described Wood as being in a state of “determined denial”.
She recalled: “Vic said, ‘I just need to get this managed – the pain. And then I’m going to write something.’
“They were sending her home to die in fact, but she wasn’t going home to die. It was her way of dealing with it. Otherwise you have to face, ‘OK, this is the end’. She didn’t want to do that.”
The new book reveals Wood first battled cancer in 2012, before it returned in 2015 and she was told by doctors it was terminal.
The Dinner Ladies star spent her last days at her London home, after being discharged from hospital, and was cared for by TV producer friend Piers Wenger, sister Rosalind and her children Grace, 32, and Henry, 28.
Wenger moved in with Wood for a fortnight to care for her and reveals how they spent a week binge-watching MasterChef together.
He said: “She said to me days before she died, ‘I might not get rid of it. But if I can just get on my feet and get back to work…’”
Sister Rosalind then took over and said Wood spent her time in bed listening to the radio and to birdsong through her window.
She revealed that during that time the comic and composer also wrote a comedy sketch about tidying her sock drawer.
Rosalind said: “I was cursing that I couldn’t record it. It was absolutely hilarious.”
Daughter Grace and Rosalind took turns to sit with Wood on her last night, telling her shortly before she died at 6.45am: “Everybody loves you.”
Wood rose to fame as a stand-up comedian in the 1980s and landed her own sketch show Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV on the BBC.
She was also known for hit sitcom Dinner Ladies and won numerous awards, including four Bafta’s and a CBE form the Queen in 2008.
She was seen as a pioneer for women in stand-up comedy.
Watch: Statue of Victoria Wood unveiled