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Cal Wilson’s husband shares heartwarming tribute, one month after her passing

The comedian with a huge heart leaves a legacy of love and joy.
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With her trademark brightly coloured hair, huge smile, and quick wit, Cal Wilson lit up our TV screens and stages for the past 20 years. But her one-of-a-kind sparkle left the room on Wednesday, October 11th, shocking fans and stars alike. 

Via a post shared to Cal’s Instagram account, her family announced the comedian had passed away on October 11 – six days after her 53rd birthday – following a short illness, writing that a “huge hole” had been “torn in the heart of our community.”

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The co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off had collapsed on the set of the Sydney-filmed show three weeks earlier. 

It is understood that Cal had been privately battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer. She’d only told her close friends and family who were by her side when she passed at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. 

One month on from her passing, her loving husband Chris Woods penned an emotional tribute to his “darling wife”, which he shared on her Instagram account. 

“Not a moment passes without Digby and I thinking about you and the amazing, beautiful wife, mother, best friend, and human being we have lost. The pain of losing you is something I’ve never experienced, and it’s impossible for me to put into words how Digby and I have been feeling,” Chris wrote. 

“Although Digby and I remain in a world that keeps spinning, for us it is a world forever changed. You brought light, love, and laughter to us every second of the day. The words, the silly voices, the jokes, and the love. So much love. We miss you so much.”

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Artist Andrea Huelin painted a portrait of Cal and entered it into the 2023 Archibald Prize. (Credit: Getty)

It’s a sentiment very much felt by those in the entertainment industry, with an avalanche of tributes to Cal shared following her death. 

Many of her contemporaries struggled to comprehend how we could have lost such a bright light at such a young age. 

Wendy Moore, group general manager of Foxtel who produces Bake Off, said in a statement that Cal “instantly brought her unique sparkle” to the show when she joined last year. 

Cal’s Bake Off co-host Natalie Tran also broke down in tears on The Project, saying, “I don’t think you could find a single person who would have anything bad to say about [Cal]. 

“Cal was like working with a Santa Clause who didn’t care if you were naughty or nice, you got presents anyway…She was one of the greatest human beings you could meet.”

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Cal was filming a new series of The Great Australian Bake Off prior to being admitted to hospital. (Credit: Getty)

While Cal was born in New Zealand, Australians had adopted her as one of their own. After getting her start in improv and stand-up comedy in her homeland, Cal moved to Melbourne in 2003. 

She performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival for 14 years and was on its board, and also appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

But it was on television that Aussies really fell in love with Cal’s famously dry sense of humour and joyful spirit. 

She regularly appeared on shows such as Good News Week, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Spicks and Specks. She also competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2008, and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2022. 

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She was one of the greatest human beings you could meet,” Natalie Tran said of her Bake Off co-host Cal. (Credit: Foxtel)

Away from the spotlight, Cal was happily married to teacher Chris Woods. 

They met in a Melbourne bar the year Cal moved there. She originally thought Chris would make a “great fling” – only to marry him five years later!

The couple shared a son – Digby, now 14. 

In an interview just two months before her death, Cal spoke about how she would like Digby to remember her. 

“I think it will be for pancakes because that’s a fairly regular weekend thing,” Cal told the Bakeology podcast.

She added that they also “make a lot of gingerbread together and he goes off with the lump of dough as any good child should.”

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