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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 December 2005, 12:29 GMT
Wood and Walters get comedy award
Victoria Wood and Julie Walters
Victoria Wood was 17 when she met Julie Walters
Comic stars Victoria Wood and Julie Walters are to receive the outstanding contribution prize at the British Comedy Awards, it has been announced.

The pair, best known for their collaboration on Victoria Wood - As Seen on TV, will be presented with the award at the ceremony on 14 December.

It is in recognition of their work together, which has also included popular sitcom Dinnerladies.

They combined again earlier this year on the West End musical Acorn Antiques.

The award organisers said the prize was "celebrating their work together spanning the past 25 years".

In August, Wood was voted Britain's funniest woman in a poll for Reader's Digest magazine, with Walters in fifth place.

Wood has written many of their most popular projects as well as appearing in them alongside Walters.

Popular characters

The comics first crossed paths briefly while students but did not cement their friendship until they played in a revue at the Bush Theatre in London in 1978.

Julie Walters and Victoria Wood
As Seen on TV saw the pair perform sketches and songs

Among their early TV series together were Wood and Walters for ITV in 1982.

When Wood was given her own BBC series, Walters was brought on board and played some of the most memorable characters.

They included haggard tea-lady Mrs Overall in soap opera spoof Acorn Antiques, which became the basis for the stage musical.

Wood also co-wrote and performed in Walters's own series, Julie Walters And Friends, in 1991.

Dinnerladies ran for two series before Wood decided to end it in 2000.

Bafta and the BBC honoured Walters with a tribute show last year.

Her other credits include acclaimed performances in Educating Rita and the TV series GBH.

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