Emily Atack has paid tribute to her former acting co-star, Radio 4 comedian Maddy Anholt, after she passed away at the age of 35 on Wednesday at her parents’ home in Devon.
The author and charity campaigner died after a battle with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer following the birth of her daughter Opal last year.
Emily, who starred with Maddy on The Emily Atack show in 2020 wrote: ‘Maddy was one of the sweetest, FUNNIEST 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. A devastatingly tragic loss ❤️.’
Women’s Aid ambassador Maddy was known for her radio comedies including No Smoke and Sketchtopia. She also starred in BBC, ITV and Channel 4 sitcoms opposite stars including Katherine Ryan and Tim Renkow.
Maddy Anholt dead at 35: Emily Atack has paid tribute to ‘sweetest, funniest and most hard-working’ co-star after star died from a rare brain cancer on Wednesday – months after daughter’s birth
Heartache: BBC star Maddy starred with Emily on The Emily Atack show in 2020 but the Women’s Aid ambassador was known for her radio comedies including No Smoke and Sketchtopia – She also starred in BBC, ITV and Channel 4 sitcoms
Poignant: A GoFundMe page set up in Maddy’s memory raised more than £6,000 in just three hours
She was a regular guest on ITV’s This Morning after hitting headlines on the show when she launched a crowfunder to find a boyfriend.
Her family announced the news of her death hours after she passed away and revealed she spent her final weeks at her parents’ home in Devon under the care of Seaton Hospice at Home.
The star, who is survived by husband Ben, one-year-old daughter Opal, her twin brother Tom, sister Claire, and mum Catherine and dad Laurence, underwent a number of operations during her battle before her tragic death on Wednesday.
In the GoFundMe post her family wrote: ‘It is with profound sorrow that we announce the death of Maddy Anholt, our beloved daughter, sister, twin, friend, wife and mother, who left this world on Wednesday 13th September, aged 35.
‘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, Sunflower House, bathed in love and calm, and with the sounds of nature all around.
‘In her short life, Maddy accomplished so much. She was a marathon-runner, author, speaker, actor and Ambassador for Women’s Aid.
Beloved: Maddy, who passed away at her parents’ home in Devon, with her mother Catherine
Way back when: The star is seen with her twin brother Tom and beloved dad Laurence
‘Her debut book was published in 2022 and her first fiction will be published soon. As an actor, she appeared in sitcoms for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, while as a speaker she led numerous masterclasses, including for the Guardian.
‘We are overwhelmed with gratitude to the many friends who have upheld us with their love and prayers during this difficult time, as well as the countless nurses, doctors and the NHS as a whole, who treated her with unfailing dignity and compassion.
‘In particular we would like to thank the magnificent team at Seaton Hospice at Home, who are the embodiment of empathy, professionalism and love.
‘We ask you not to send flowers but if you feel moved to make a small donation, this fundraiser has been set up to provide for Maddy’s one-year-old daughter, Opal.
‘Alternatively, you might consider a contribution to Maddy’s favourite charity, Women’s Aid.
‘Maddy was a powerful advocate for women’s rights and on publication of her debut book, she was invited to become an Ambassador for Women’s Aid, which she carried out with characteristic energy and humour.’
Sweet: Maddy’s family shared the heartbreaking news
Here she is: Maddy, was known for her radio comedies including No Smoke and Sketchtopia, in a 2018 sketch about Valentine’s Day
Star: She also appeared in BBC, ITV and Channel 4 sitcoms opposite stars including Katherine Ryan and Tim Renkow
Frequent: The Women’s Aid ambassador was also a regular guest on ITV’s This Morning after hitting headlines on the show when she launched a crowfunder to find a boyfriend
Proud: She released her book How To Leave Your Psychopath last year
Star: Maddy is pictured on Talk Radio with Eamonn Holmes
Social media star: She was a avid social media user
Heartache: Tributes poured in for the tragic star on social media
Shock: Women’s Aid wrote that they were ‘devastated’ by her death
Poignant: Her family announced the news of her death hours after she passed away and revealed she spent her final weeks under the care of Seaton Hospice at Home
Touching: Maddy’s family requested fans and friends light a candle for the star
Plans: Maddy’s final Instagram posts gave a glimpse into her plans for the future, with her last image revealing she had been working on her first fiction book
Bestseller: Last October she posted a photo with her book and said she was looking forward to future tours
‘Wherever you are, please join us at 6pm BST on Saturday 16th September, to light a candle. Pray, meditate and hold our precious Maddy in your hearts as she returns to the stars. With love, Cathy, Laurence, Claire, Tom and Ben’.
Tributes flooded in, with Twitter users writing: ‘So sad and so young. God bless you. he has a place for you in his garden. And my condolences to your family and friends. How awful. 35! That’s no age.
‘Absolutely dreadful news. Heartbreaking… Can’t quite believe this. Maddy was an incredibly kind and talented human. Genuinely one of the best ones.
Women’s Aid said it was ‘devastated’, adding: ‘Maddy was a creative, caring and determined woman, who gave her time freely to support us at Women’s Aid.’
Maddy’s final Instagram posts gave a tragic glimpse into her plans for the future, with her last image – shared in June – revealing she had been working on her first fiction book.
Last October she posted a photo with her book and said she was looking forward to future tours.
Maddy appeared on the BBC Three sitcom Jerk with Tim Renkow in 2019 and TV show Sunny D opposite Katherine Ryan in 2016.
She had four sell-out solo comedies at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Latitude Festival and the Soho Theatre and released a book last year called How to Leave Your Psychopath: The Essential Handbook for Escaping Toxic Relationships.
Showtime: Maddy in the poster for her Edinburgh Fringe show Diary Of A Dating Addict
Back in 2015, the comedian revealed she was hoping to raise £3,500 to travel to Scotland in search of her ‘perfect prince’, having exhausted the dating scene in her native London at the time – prior to meeting her husband.
She told FEMAIL at the time: ‘Dating can be an expensive business, especially if you’re an independent woman like myself…
‘Having spent all my money dating the men of London, I’ve barely got the train fare to Watford, let alone Edinburgh. So I’m turning to the public to fund this fairy tale ending…
‘I came up with the concept for the show after going on so many hilariously appalling internet dates and a good friend of mine saying I should write a book of them – I went one step better.’
She wrote on the crowdfunding campaign: ‘I’m appealing to the wider community to help fund my fledgling love life as I take my hunt for Mr Right international with my new one woman comedy show.’
‘Those wanting to donate money, can opt for £10, £25, £50, £100 or £150. In return, supporters will be given rewards from 50 per cent off a ticket to her show, a romantic three-course dinner (not with her), or a DIY dating kit.’
Maddy, who had been single for five years at the time, said: ‘Five years is a long time to be alone. I’ve done everything I can. I’ve been on every dating site there is.’
Following the news of the crowdfunding – of which she raised £2,121 of the £3,500 goal – she appeared on a This Morning debate under the title: ‘Is crowdfunding modern day begging?’
Sketch show: Maddy is pictured in another 2018 sketch
Behind the scenes: She is seen following her appearance on This Morning