Previews

Our Friend Victoria: Maxine Peake (BBC-1 2 May 2017)

Our Friend Victoria Episode 4 presented by Maxine Peake

Maxine Peake presents the fourth installment of Our Friend Victoria, which explores Victoria’s take on appearance.

Victoria was no stranger to waistline woes, but rather than let it hold her back she channelled her own worries into her comedy by regularly taking a swipe at society’s views on how we look, what we should wear, what we should eat and what we should weigh. She spoke up for us all, whatever size or shape.

In this episode, Maxine guides us through a selection of classic comedy and some forgotten moments that perfectly capture Victoria’s views of the diet and health industry. In her stand-up Vic reveals her generous rectangular shape, reveals why she sets off the alarms in Topshop and why diet plans aren’t for her. There are standout clips – the dinnerladies bemoaning the size of their buttocks; an unforgettable aerobics class with fatties with attitude in Fattitude; Marjorie & Joan’s top tips for a perfect tan; and a bonkers but sublime sketch called The Shoe Shop.

Julie Walters and Celia Imrie are on hand to ponder the transformation of Acorn Antiques into a health spa, while Duncan Preston reveals the pain he endured when faced with a wrinkly gusset. Harriet Thorpe and Kate Robbins recall their lighthearted chats about yo-yo dieting and Zumba classes with their old friend Vic. While Michael Ball, Thelma Barlow and Andrew Dunn discuss the importance of egg & chips in the creative process.

It was an honour for Maxine to present this programme. Victoria was her comedy hero. When she was young, she would watch As Seen On TV over and over again. Years later when she got the call to audition for a part in dinnerladies, she was gobsmacked. Not only would she be in the same room as her hero, she might even get to work with her. Maxine got the part of Twinkle, which was a dream come true, so she is thrilled to be able to look back at this celebration of the finest work of her friend, Victoria.

This fourth episode of Our Friend Victoria is full of brilliantly observed comedy on a subject which affects all of us – appearance. To top off this feast of Victoria’s work, there’s a sprinkling of rare photos from her own personal archive, which makes this series of must-see for all comedy fans.

Our Friend Victoria Episode 4 (of 6) airs on Tuesday 2 May 2017 from 9.30pm-10.00pm on BBC One.