Vale: Cal Wilson

Tributes pour in following the death of NZ born comedian and presenter Cal Wilson, best known for The Great Australian Bake Off.

NZ born comedian and presenter Cal Wilson, best known for The Great Australian Bake Off, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Spicks & Specks, has died, aged 53.

Token Artists management said in a statement, “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.

“Cal’s generosity, talent and friendship have been constants in the Australian comedy scene for the last twenty years. Cal was loved by her family, friends, fans and peers and a huge hole has been torn in the heart of our community.”

A cause of death has not been disclosed.

Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Cal moved to Melbourne in 2003 to star in the sketch show, Skithouse. She went on to become one of Australia’s best-known comedians with appearances on Spicks and Specks, Good News Week, Would I Lie To You? and in her own Netflix stand-up special.

Cal was probably best known as a stand up comedian who appeared at the Melbourne Comedy Festival 14 times and was a member of its board. Most recently she co-hosted The Great Australian Bake Off for Foxtel alongside Natalie Tran, which was in production when Cal was first admitted to hospital.

She hosted Sleuth 101 for ABC while her other credits included The Project, Celebrity Name Game, Show Me the Movie!, Would I Lie to You? Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Hughesy We Have a Problem, Slide Show, Rove Live, Dancing with the Stars, Thank God You’re Here, Good Friday Appeal, The Wedge and Kitty Is Not a Cat.

She most recently pressented Who The Bloody Hell Are We? on SBS.

In lockdown Cal also made elaborate and ridiculous headdresses that she shared with her online community and a painting of Cal wearing a headdress made of doll parts and Christmas baubles featured in the 2023 Archibald Prize, taking out the Packing Room Prize.

Cal is survived by her Husband Chris and son Digby. The family are asking for privacy at this time.


Wendy Moore, Group General Manager, Lifestyle, Foxtel Group: “We are all completely devastated to lose such an amazing, vibrant person. Cal joined our Bake Off cast last year and instantly brought her unique sparkle to the show. Her professionalism, work ethic and genuine heart-warming humour instantly made her a favourite amongst cast and crew, as well as the Australian audience. We will all miss her so much, and our hearts go out to her family and friends.”

Kylie Washington, General Manager and Creative Director Production, BBC Studios ANZ:“It has been an absolute  privilege and joy to work with Cal.  Cal joined the Bake Off family last year, she was a hugely talented presenter and comedian who brought so much laughter and warmth to the show.  She will be greatly missed by us all and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Channel 10 said, “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of Cal Wilson. Our thoughts are with her family and many friends. She brought joy and laughter to so many, on screen and off. Vale Cal.”

Melb Int. Comedy Festival: The Festival team are shattered by the passing of dear friend and colleague Cal Wilson. Cal has always been a beacon of joy and smiles in and around the festival – a dedicated board member and mentor to many, she loved and advocated for the comedy community she was part of. Our love, hugs and thoughts go to her family, friends and the whole comedy community.

Working Dog: We’re devastated to hear of the passing of our friend, Cal Wilson. Her warmth, kindness and effortless ability to make us laugh will be something we’ll remember forever. Sending love to her family, friends and everyone who knew her.

Melboure Fringe: Melbourne Fringe, its Board and team are deeply saddened by the passing of comedian, writer, actor, friend and Fringe alumni, Cal Wilson. We will remember her warmth, generosity and the joy she brought to audiences and peers alike. Our love to Cal’s friends and family.

AACTA: We are deeply saddened by the passing of celebrated comedian, writer, actor and presenter Cal Wilson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. Rest In Peace.

Adam Hills: The news of Cal’s death has broken me slightly but the outpouring of love for her has been so heartwarming. 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. X

Rebel Wilson: 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.

Julia Zemiro: Most generous. Most excellent. A huge hole in the Arts community and in my heart.

Julia Morris: I am absolutely heartbroken by the news of the passing of the magnificent Cal Wilson. My deepest sympathies with Chris, Digby & the whole family. We share the deep loss of Cal’s shining light. Vale an all time favourite and proper brilliant babe Jx

Joel Creasey: I actually don’t even know how to put in to words my devastation and just plain shock at the passing of Cal Wilson. She was everybody’s friend. You will be missed every so dearly, Cal.

Tony Martin: Shocked to hear about Cal Wilson. Loved by all and a favourite on ‘Get This’. Can’t get really get my head around it. Thinking of her family and cats at this time.

Melanie Bracewell: A ray of sunshine. You will be so missed, Cal.

Tim McDonald: Very saddened to learn of the passing of Cal Wilson. Such a funny, warm and delightful presence on screen and off screen. My thoughts are with her family, friends and all who were lucky to know her.

Toni Pearen: She helped me through a difficult time and stood strong for me and encouraged me beyond measure… She is a reminder about what’s good in the world.

Nazeem Hussain: Completely heartbreaking news. Cal was the most kind and beautiful soul. Sending all our love to her family.

John Safran: I’m very sad to have to pass on that Cal Wilson, who I was lucky to work with recently, has died. Thinking about her family x

Myf Warhurst: What a joy it was to be in her magnificent orbit over the years.

Grant Denyer: Oh my goodness. I’m shaking. I can’t believe what I’m reading. How unbelievably sad. The most tender, kind, generous and talented performer I’ve ever had the pleasure to work alongside.

Urzila Carlson: My heart is broken for her family and for everyone that has ever met her because she was amazing. Today is a terrible day.

Magda Szubanski: Oh no! Oh I am so so sad to hear about Cal Wilson. I didn’t know her super well but in all the interactions I had with her she was just the nicest bloody person. This is such a shock. My deepest condolences to her loved ones Vale Cal Wilson. RIP

Tom Ballard: It’s impossible to articulate the enormous loss the comedy community is feeling today over the passing of @calbowilson

Dylan Alcott: Absolutely devastating. Cal you are such a beautiful person who always had time for everyone. Was always a pleasure anytime I got to work next to you.

Matt Okine: So sad to hear that Cal Wilson has passed away. I was part of a tour of India with Cal and she spent so much of the trip talking about her young son Digby. I hope he knows how much he was loved.

Andrew Hansen: Cal Wilson was brilliant and a lovely presence in any room, on or off stage. She had a rare gift of bringing warmth into comedy. A gigantic loss to us all.

Lawrence Leung: Devastated. Cal Wilson was of the loveliest comedians and humans I ever met. So generous with advice, hilarious and joyously silly. Her life was full of colour. My heart goes out to all of her loved ones and fellow mates who feeling the loss today. Irreplaceable.

Bajo: Rest in Peace, Cal Wilson. What a shock. What a warm, joyful, utterly brilliant person. We were lucky to have her.

Shaynna Blaze: I can’t even comprehend this right now. The most divine, radiant person who I have watched, admired and worked alongside. This is heartbreaking. So much love to her husband, son and family. This is a very very sad day.

Paul McDermott: A beautiful girl has left the room. Heartbroken.

Mikey Robbins: One of the funniest, loveliest people to have ever graced the comedy stage is no longer with us
Cal Wilson was very special. My heart goes out to those who held her close.

Greg Fleet: Vale Cal Wilson. A talent gone too soon. RIP.

Ben Pobjie: Cal Wilson was one of the cleverest and funniest performers going round, but much more: as kind and sweet a human being as I’ve ever known. I am in shock. I know I’ll be one of many many people who are devastated but so grateful to have known Cal.

Sami Shah: In this industry it’s impossible to find someone universally loved and respected. Cal was that impossibility.

Tara Moss: I’m so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to Cal Wilson’s family and loved ones. I love you, beautiful Cal. Thank you for being you, and for giving so much joy in this life.

Richard Stubbs: Shocked and saddened by the news of Cal Wilson’s passing. A wonderful comedian and a lovely person. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

Dan Ilic: So sad to hear about our friend @calbo — one of the kindest, just and funniest people in showbusiness — such a generous spirit. 💔 Sending love to her fam and friends.

Alice Tovey: Everyone loves Cal Wilson. And that love will never leave. She was as effervescent and joyus as they come. Everyone in comedy has a story about how Cal touched their lives. She will be so, so missed.

I’m A Celebrity: We’re deeply saddened by the passing of Cal Wilson. Our thoughts are with her family and many friends. She brought joy and laughter to so many, on screen and off. Vale Cal.


This post updates.

22 Responses

  1. I used to listen to her every day on the radio growing up. She had such an influence on me and my sense of humour and you could tell that she was just so intelligent and kind and warm and such a good person. This is so devastating. Gone too soon. RIP Cal.

  2. Cal was really hilarious and always cracked me up though showed a serious side on I’m a Celebrity. A Spicks & Specks episode featuring her will be screening on ABC Plus Sunday at 7.30pm.

  3. Terribly sad, especially at such a young age.
    So funny and vibrant.
    By all accounts Cal was a beautiful kind and warm person, clearly very much loved by all.

  4. This is one of those deaths that just makes me pause a little (and there’s been a few of those this year). The “after a short illness” … ‘suffix’ is just … awww man. She’s not that much older than me. Her comedy festival show 7 years ago was the last live thing my mum went to… so I’m just a little numb right now. I was surprised by her non-appearance on the new series of TGYH, and I hadn’t really registered her absence from HYBPA? but obviously she was too ill. I think I’ll just leave it at “Thank you for a lot of laughs and precious memories. Rest easy now.”

  5. Did one of the funniest performances on Thank God Youre Here when she was clairvoyant Madam Olga Chlamydia. So many good lines. She was pregnant at the time.
    “Madam Olga, what is the difference between a medium and a clairvoyant?”
    “Well clearly I am a large. That makes me a clairvoyant. A medium is a bit smaller”

  6. A very versatile talent who I remember fondly when she did the extras for the original Network Ten version of Australian Idol in the 2000’s. Taken too young and living proof that only the good die young. Condolences to those she leaves behind and may she truly Rest in Peace.

Leave a Reply