The acclaimed comedy star passed away in April 2016, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2015, but a new autobiography has revealed she was determined to keep her health issues a secret from everyone, apart from a few close friends and family.
Grace, Victoria’s daughter, said: “She shared what she had to but, given the choice, I think she’d have shared none of it.”
The TV star delayed one procedure to compere the London Jazz Festival and even though she missed a couple of award shows, she told Grace she didn’t want people speculating about her health.
She said: “I don’t want rumours spreading that I’m at death’s door.”
The ‘Dinnerladies’ actress complained that her cancer treatment was “boring”, and she chose to attend hospital appointments alone.
Speaking to TV writer Peter Bowker, she explained: “I can’t be bothered to put a good face on it and be jolly.”
In ‘Let’s Do It’, it’s explained that Victoria was rushed to hospital with a blood clot in her leg shortly before her radiotherapy was due to end.
And after spending three “hellish” weeks recovering, she subsequently jumped at the chance to film a documentary about tea in various locations around the world.
Victoria – who died at the age of 62 – told Peter: “I feel I missed the last 12 months with so many hospital palavers. Going to China and India meant getting out of the house.”
Following her death, entertainer Michael Ball hailed Victoria’s influence, describing her as a “trailblazer” for other female comedians.
He said: “She gave inspiration to other women because she wasn’t having to be sexy and rude, although she was all of those things. She was just brilliant. She made it seem to other women, you can do this.”