COMEDIAN Victoria Wood has died aged 62 after a short battle with cancer.

The Prestwich-born actress, who attended Fairfield County Primary School and Bury Grammar School, died at home in London surrounded by her family.

Her publicist, Neil Reading, said: "Victoria Wood has sadly passed away, after a short but brave battle with cancer.

"The multi Bafta award-winning writer, director, actor and comedian died peacefully at her north London home with family this morning. She was 62.

"The family ask for privacy at this very sad time."

The Bolton News:

Maxine Peake as Twinkle, Anne Reid as Jean, Victoria Wood as Bren, Thelma Barlow as Dolly and Shobna Gulati as Anita from the BBC show Dinnerladies

Her older brother, Chris, said her death "has robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation".

A tweet from the comedian's official account read: "We are devastated to confirm that our very special Victoria has sadly lost her short battle with cancer. Thank you for your support and love."

Victoria married magician Geoffrey Durham in 1980 and they separated in 2002. They have two children, Grace and Henry.

In 1997, she was made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours and was then made a CBE in 2008 for her services to entertainment as a TV comedian, a writer, pianist and actress over the past three decades.

Victoria’s career began when she won televised talent show New Faces in 1974, while still a student at Birmingham University, though she didn’t establish herself on the comedy circuit until the 1980s when her award-winning Victoria Wood As Seen On TV won rave reviews.

In 1999, she wrote and starred in BBC sitcom Dinnerladies, which also won awards. She also wrote and directed a one-off drama for ITV called Housewife, for which she won two Bafta awards in 2006.

Tributes have been pouring in to the much-loved star, including from Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: "Victoria Wood was a national treasure loved by millions. My thoughts are with her family".

Former Bury Times journalist, Neil Brandwood, who wrote the only biography of the star, said: "It is very sad news, not just for Bury but for the country as a whole."

He added: "Victoria once said she had enough ambition to fill five lives. She was such a hard worker and in the early days she did it through sheer determination.

"She shone at stand-up, music, writing, performing, presenting, producing and directing. In more recent years she was recognised for her abilities as a serious actress.

"She achieved so much and one of the many sadnesses about her death is that I'm sure there was even greater stuff to come.

"Perhaps they will now put a plaque up at her former home on Bury Road to celebrate one of Bury's finest."

Jo Anderson, headmistress at Bury Grammar School Girls, added: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of one of our most famous and much loved former pupils.

"Her humour, warmth, intelligence and winning combination of self-confidence and self-deprecation have made her an inspiration to our students over the years.

"As a strong northern woman and fabulous role model, we will always be proud to count Victoria Wood as an old girl of Bury Grammar School Girls."

Ricky Gervais tweeted that she was "innovative, funny and down to earth," while fellow comedian Rory Bremner added: "This is too much.Now lovely, warm, funny, brilliantly talented Victoria Wood has gone.Words, songs, plays, she wrote the lot. So sad."

Journalist and author Caitlin Moran described the early influence Wood had on her, saying: "Seeing Victoria Wood on TV - working class, bookish, silly, clever, doing stand-up, singing, acting - made me think 'Girls can do this'."

Wood's long-term manager and friend, Phil McIntyre, said: "Victoria has been a part of our lives as a friend, devoted mother and national treasure for 30 years. She was always modest, generous and undemanding. A super person and a super and unique talent. There will be an unfillable void left on all levels and we will miss her deeply."

Councillor Mike Connolly, leader of Bury Council, said: “It’s so very sad to hear of Victoria’s death today. She was a supremely talented and much loved daughter of the borough, who brought great pleasure to millions across the country.

“She will be greatly missed, and the council sends its deepest sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues.”