Tributes paid to ‘wonderful and inspiring’ comedian after death aged 35

Friends and colleagues of Maddy Anholt have paid tribute after the actress, comedian and author died aged 35.

Anholt, who also campaigned against domestic abuse, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Opal, last year.

Her family confirmed she died at her parents’ home on Wednesday.

Anholt’s TV appearances included ITV series The Emily Atack Show, BBC Three comedy Sunny D and appearances on the This Morning daytime show.

She also had her own BBC Radio comedy series about a failing vape cafe, set in Dundee, called No Smoke in 2017.

Emily Atack shared pictures of Anholt on Instagram, writing: “It’s hard to find the words. Maddy Anholt was one of the sweetest, FUNNIEST, gorgeous and most hard-working women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

“Just utterly beautiful and so talented. She made me laugh so much. Sending every ounce of my love and support to her family. Such an unbearably tragic loss.”

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A GoFundMe website set up by Anholt’s family to provide for Maddy’s one-year-old daughter has already broken its £10,000 target, raising more than £14,000 in just two days.

In a statement, the family described her as a “beloved daughter, sister, twin, friend, wife and mother, who left this world on Wednesday”.

It went on: “You may know that shortly after the birth of her incredible daughter Opal last year, Maddy was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

“She handled the ensuing surgery and treatment with astonishing grace and courage, accompanied every step of the way by her family and devoted husband, Ben.

“She spent her final weeks at her parents’ home, bathed in love and calm, and with the sounds of nature all around.”

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In 2018, Anholt ran the London Marathon, raising funds for The National Brain Appeal, in memory of her grandmother Joan Anholt.

Her debut book How To Leave Your Psychopath, about coercive control and abusive relationships, was published last year, and next year her first fiction book, Red Flags, will be released.

Also paying tribute was children’s author Giles Paley-Phillips, who described her as a “truly wonderful, inspiring human being, and cherished friend”.

An ambassador for Women’s Aid, the charity’s chief executive Farah Nazeer, said it was “devastated” by the star’s death.

Ms Nazeer said: “Maddy worked closely with us as she wrote her book about unhealthy relationships, and her passion was to raise awareness of abuse amongst younger people, which she did by working with us on our Love Respect website and through her comedy and writing.

“Maddy was a creative, caring and determined woman, who gave her time freely to support us at Women’s Aid.

“She wanted to help so that other young women would not experience controlling relationships, and in her memory we will strive to continue this important work.

“Today our thoughts are with Maddy’s family, her husband Ben, and her one-year-old daughter Opal.”