Cal Wilson: Rebel Wilson and Adam Hills lead tributes after Bake Off Australia host’s death aged 53

The stand-up comedian died after a short illness

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 11 October 2023 12:48 BST
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Actors, comedians and presenters across the world have paid tribute to The Great Australian Bake Off co-host Cal Wilson, who has died aged 53.

Born in New Zealand in 1970, Wilson was a stand-up comedian who mainly worked in Australia. Throughout her career, she appeared on a wide range of TV projects, including Australian versions of Dancing with the Stars and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!.

On Wednesday (11 October), Wilson’s management Token Artists announced her death following a “short illness”.

“We are devastated to share the news that Cal Wilson, the much-loved stand-up comedian, writer and actor died today, surrounded by family and friends after a short illness at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. She was 53 years old.”

Several fans and famous figures have shared their memories of Wilson following the announcement.

Actor Rebel Wilson wrote: “This is so tragic and my heart goes out to Cal’s family. I was very very lucky to work with Cal on multiple projects especially over the last few years where she wrote brilliant material for me. She was amazingly talented and amazingly kind.”

Elsewhere on Twitter/X, The Last Leg’s Adam Hills shared his reaction to Wilson’s death, naming her as “one of life’s best people”.

“The news of Cal’s death has broken me slightly but the outpouring of love for her has been so heartwarming,” the presenter and comedian wrote. “She was one of life’s best people and she made everyone happy. Everyone. Off stage and on. That’s how you live a life. May her spirit live on. Love ya Calbo.”

Cal Wilson in 2015 (Getty Images)

The official Twitter/X account of QI also shared their condolences on social media. Wilson appeared on the BBC panel programme in 2012 during an episode based solely on the topic of “journeys”.

“Everyone at QI is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Cal Wilson, a brilliant comedian, panellist and member of the QI family,” the statement reads. “Our thoughts are with her friends and family.”

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Wilson’s Great Australian Bake Off co-presenter Natalie Tran appeared on the Australian news programme The Project and recalled Wilson’s joy and generosity.

“Cal was like working with a Santa Claus who didn’t care about whether you were naughty or nice. You got presents either way,” Tran quipped.

“I wouldn’t be able to carry all of the presents she’s given me over the time I’ve known her. Every day, she was like a cheerleader for every single person.”

Wilson regularly posted content about her cats, Barnacle and Pirate, on TikTok. Her final post was shared in July, which featured one of her cats jumping up onto her shoulder as she brandishes a treat and laughs.

“In today's experiment, will Barnacle leave the coffee machine for a Twiggy stick?” she wrote as a caption.

Cal Wilson is survived by her husband Chris Woods and their son Digby.

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