Cal Wilson: Christchurch Comedian died of 'rare and aggressive form of cancer' - report

Christchurch comedian Cal Wilson died from an "aggressive and rare form of cancer", according to a report from Australian website the Daily Telegraph.

Wilson's artist management agency Token Artists said she died on Wednesday aged 53 after a "short illness" and "surrounded by family and friends" but did not reveal the cause of death.

The news caused shockwaves on both sides of the Tasman, with many sharing tales of how Wilson had been a great friend and kind person within the comedy community.

On Thursday, the Daily Telegraph claimed she had "been in Sydney filming The Great Australian Bake Off, when she was admitted to hospital after being treated for lower back pain and doctors are understood to have diagnosed the comedian" with the condition shortly after.

Wilson’s co-star Darren Purchase - who had been working as a judge on the show - wrote she had been "very sick" the last time he saw her.

"Cal was a light and such a joyful good person, funny and the kindest," he wrote. "This is so unfair, and I will never forget my precious time with Cal."

Purchase also revealed his last meeting with Wilson, saying: "I am sorry this has happened to such a good person, and I cannot get out of my head the last time I saw her when she was very sick."

Wilson had become one of Australia’s best-known comedians, appearing on numerous TV shows across her decades-long career, including Have You Been Paying Attention?, Rove Live, Good News Week, Spicks and Specks, The Project, Hughesy, We Have A Problem and reality shows such as Dancing With The Stars and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.

Tributes continued to flow for Wilson on Thursday.

Kiwi comedian Rhys Darby said she was "one of the good ones."

"Yesterday, we lost a dear member of our NZ/Aus comedy world. To say @calbo Cal Wilson was one of the good ones is an understatement. She was brilliant & lovely & she smashed all her goals with grace and inspired so many including me to be kind and funny. You'll be missed heaps," he wrote on Twitter.

Paddy Gower Has Issues comedian Eli Matthewson shared on his Instagram story how much of an inspiration she had been when he was starting off in Christchurch.

"To see someone from Ōtautahi [Christchurch] go on to such incredible success, whose stand-up was so full of joy, whose improv was so delightful, was incredibly inspiring.

"When I got to meet her I couldn't believe how kind and generous she was, and I think every Kiwi who has headed to the Melbourne Festival has seen how she looked out for us, checked in with us, helped us get more opportunities. Such an incredibly, positive light in our community, and a devastating loss."

Wilson is survived by her husband Chris and son Digby.