AN interview with Victoria Wood inspired journalist Neil Brandwood to write a biography of the popular comedienne.

This week -- six years after that first meeting -- the first-time author's 256-page book went on sale at booksellers throughout Britain.

And within two days of going on sale, the publishers Virgin Books reported the biography was "selling well".

But that is no surprise to Neil.

The journalist at the Bury Times, a sister paper of the Bolton Evening News, said: "Victoria is so popular. Tickets for her shows sell out within days of going on sale. She is a local girl but is popular throughout the entire country."

Victoria was born in Holyrood Maternity Home, Prestwich, on May 19, 1953, and lived at the family home at 98 Tottington Road, Bury.

Her first school was Elton County Primary but, in 1958, the family moved to the former Bury Children's Holiday home, on the hills above the town, and Victoria joined Fairfield County Primary School.

It was there she developed her talent for piano-playing and held the prestigious post of biscuit monitor!

Her sense of humour emerged when she became a pupil at Bury Grammar School.

Reflecting on her roots in Bury, Victoria said: "I think there's something special about coming from there. I think there's something special about the way people talk and the attitude people have."

When Victoria was 11, her mother, Helen, attended Bolton Technical College where she studied for her 'O'- levels. She eventually went to Manchester University before embarking on a teaching career at Bolton Institute.

Her father, Stanley, also encouraged Victoria's interest in drama by accompanying her to productions at the Bolton Octagon.

Neil's book is predicted to be a best-seller, especially for the lucrative Christmas market.

He said: "What I found really interesting about researching her life and career was how her early experiences have influenced her and how she's changed over the years from the insecure and lonely schoolgirl to triumphing as Britain's most popular entertainer."