Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea

If you’re like me and you live over here on the left side of the Atlantic, the name Victoria Wood might not mean that much to you. If you need to get up to speed, consider that, as a headline in one Canadian magazine put it, Wood is “The Funniest British Comedian You’ve Never Heard Of.” I can hardly vouch for that “funniest” part of that statement, but what caught my attention about Woods is a documentary she took part in that aired in early 2013.

As the title of this article might have tipped you, the title of said programme (as they say over yonder) is Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea. I don’t know that I can do any better at summarizing this one than they do at the Web site so I’ll leave you the reader with that as an overview, “Comedy legend Victoria Wood travels the globe to explore Britain’s love affair with tea in a two part special on the little plant that changed the world.” [Editor’s note: If the video doesn’t work for you, try it here.]

Victoria Woods talks with Matt Smith aka Dr Who (from YouTube video)
Victoria Woods talks with Matt Smith aka Dr Who (from YouTube video)

It appears that the show first aired in April 2013 and may have been available at the site at one time. It’s not there as of this writing but if you look hard enough through that vast thing called the Internet you might be able to locate the whole thing. [Editor’s note: It’s all on – just search for “Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea”]  In episode one, Woods travels to China and India and “reveals how tea united east and west, triggered wars and helped us win them.” The second part finds her hobnobbing (over tea, of course) with a variety of celebrities.

One of these is Graham Norton, who sounded only vaguely familiar to this Yank, but who is apparently a popular talk show host in that part of the world. Matt Smith is best known as the latest of a string of eleven doctors in the popular science fiction show, Doctor Who, which marks a fiftieth anniversary in 2013. Like the character he portrays, Smith claims to be a tea lover and in his chat with Wood passes up a French Vanilla in favor of a good old Assam (my kind of tea guy).

Singer Morrissey, once of the band The Smiths and later a solo artist, is arguably better known outside of the UK than Wood’s other two celeb guests and you can see a snippet of their chat here. Though he confesses to Wood that they’re drinking a “very weak” Ceylon tea, he also claims to be a tea-aholic (choose your own preferred spelling) and says that when he tried to go without a cup of tea once for an entire day he found himself “shaken” and “disturbed.”

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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