18 AUGUST 2005

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Having spent over 30 years making Britain laugh, Victoria Wood has been received the ultimate comedy accolade, being voted the funniest women of all time.

The 52-year-old stand-up comedienne and Dinnerladies actress, who got her big break after appearing on an TV talent show in 1973, scooped 20 per cent of the poll, in which Joanna Lumley, Meera Syal and Caroline Aherne were also ranked.

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"Like all the best comedians, Victoria Wood is able to take ordinary life, point out the daft, mundane things that everybody of every age and social class recognises, and make it funny," says Simon Hemelryk, editor of Reader's Digest, which carried out the poll.

Hot on Victoria's heels was Vicar Of Dibley star Dawn French, who landed the number two slot followed by Jo Brand and Jennifer Saunders in third and fourth place respectively. Popular silver-screen funnywoman Julie Walters, who often collaborates with Victoria, came in at number five.

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The 52-year-old comedienne has kept the UK in stitches for more than three decades with her stand-up comedy routines and TV series
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