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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005, 05:18 GMT 06:18 UK
Comic Wood voted 'funniest woman'
Victoria Wood
Wood won ITV's New Faces talent show in 1973
Comedy star Victoria Wood has been voted Britain's funniest woman.

Wood, 52, famed for her one-woman shows and for TV comedies Dinnerladies and Acorn Antiques, forced Vicar of Dibley star Dawn French into second place.

Former psychiatric nurse Jo Brand came third in the poll of more than 4,000 people, which was carried out for Reader's Digest magazine.

Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders and actress Julie Walters made up the top five.

Saunders rose to fame as French's comedy partner in the TV show French and Saunders.

Julie Walters made her name when she starred with Michael Caine in Educating Rita before teaming up with Wood in the Acorn Antiques soap opera spoof.

Victoria Wood
Dawn French
Jo Brand
Jennifer Saunders
Julie Walters
Joyce Grenfell
Hattie Jacques
Joanna Lumley
Maureen Lipman
Kathy Burke
Source: Reader's Digest poll

Wood has recently helped to adapt Acorn Antiques for the stage, for which Walters reprised her popular role as the haggard tea-lady Mrs Overall.

Simon Hemelryk, an editor at the Reader's Digest, said the poll highlighted the fact that until recently comedy had been a man's world.

He said: "Of the top 10 only two are not current performers - comedienne and raconteur Joyce Grenfell and Carry On star Hattie Jacques."

But he said there were few really new names in the top 20 - with rising star Catherine Tate not featuring at all.

Jennifer Saunders' co-star in Ab Fab, Joanna Lumley was eighth in the poll while Maureen Lipman, who found TV fame with the comedy series Agony, was in ninth place.

Actress and director Kathy Burke made up the top 10.

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