Dame Julie Walters talks to a photo of her late friend Victoria Wood.

The 67-year-old actress was devastated when her close friend and frequent collaborator passed away from cancer in April 2016 at the age of 62.

Now, 18 months later, Julie admits she still finds it ''difficult to take in'' her pal's passing but finds solace in continuing to speak to her picture.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine, Julie said: ''I always look at that picture when I go past. Sometime when there's nobody around, I look at it and say, 'Where are you?' I still find it difficult to take in.''

The pair's collaborations made a huge contribution to British TV and comedy throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

They first worked together in the 1978 theatre revue 'In at the Death' and followed that up with the television adaptation of Wood's play 'Talent'

They then worked together on ITV sketch series 'Wood and Walters' and then BBC sketch show 'Victoria Wood as Seen on TV' - which spawned the hugely popular 'Crossroads' spoof 'Acorn Antiques'.

Their final collaborations were on the much-loved BBC sitcom 'Dinnerladies' - which ran from 1998 to 2000 - and 2009 festive special 'Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas'.

Julie has had a successful career comedy and acting career and she is currently shooting 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again'.

After five decades in showbusiness, Julie admits she has started to contemplate retirement but is worried she will get bored if she stops working.

She said: ''I don't have to continue working now, I could retire, but I don't. I often think, 'What would I do if I was forced to retire?', because you don't know what's going to happen in your life.

''I'd maybe get into baking and things like that, I don't know. I think I'd probably write something. I'd have to do something, though. I couldn't just sit and do the crossword.''

The actress also admitted she has turned down a number of Hollywood movies because she likes ''British writing and British work''.

She said: ''I did have plenty of offers then but I don't ever regret not taking them. Because I'm British, I guess, and I like British writing and British work, and I love it here. I think the way you look is much more important in Hollywood than possibly it is here. If something amazing came ... but nothing ever has, nothing really amazing. People go and move there to try to do something else with their careers - but I don't want to do anything else with my career particularly.''