England

Victoria Wood's talent 'petrified' young Maxine Peake

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMaxine Peake discusses working with comedian Victoria Wood

Maxine Peake regrets not getting to know her "inspiration" Victoria Wood better before her death earlier this year, the actor has revealed.

Wood, who gave Peake her first break in TV series Dinnerladies, was a role model to the actor from a young age.

"I was petrified of her, not because she was scary but I spent two years being overwhelmed... I regret I didn't make more of an effort," she said.

Victoria Wood died in April 2016 after a short battle with cancer. She was 62.

Image caption Dinnerladies was set in a canteen at a Manchester factory

In an interview for BBC Local Radio documentary Victoria Wood As Not Seen On TV, Peake revealed she was filming in Shropshire when she received a text from her sister letting her know Wood had died.

"I had the little radio on in my room and I turned it on... even though I knew she was ill I couldn't believe that she was gone", she said.

Archive material of Victoria Wood on radio

In Pictures: Victoria Wood's life and work

Victoria Wood: In her own words

Peake discovered that Wood was ill just six weeks before her death.

"It was never divulged what the problem was, and then I didn't know what to do and I regret not sending an email... Vic was very private," she said.

'I'm doing what I'm doing because of Vic'

Asked what she regretted, she added: "That I didn't get to know Vic better and get over my fear… I do get overwhelmed when people have got talent like that.

"She was so young and so vibrant - and had so much more to give."

Victoria Wood first appeared on the ITV talent show New Faces in 1974, and later established herself as a comedy star with her sketch show Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV.

Image caption Peake has gone on to lead roles on stage, and has been Bafta-nominated for her television work

Peake, whose TV credits include acclaimed dramas such as Shameless and Silk, was still at drama school when she got the call for the Dinnerladies audition that led to her breakthrough.

"I didn't take it seriously... so I just went to the audition and thought 'I'm going to sit in a room with Victoria Wood and that's my career sorted, I can retire tomorrow'," she added.

"She had an amazing effect on me, in fact I'm doing what I'm doing because of Vic."

Victoria Wood As Not Seen On TV can be heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 12:00 GMT on 24 December 2016.