Rhys Nicholson got a beautiful wedding gift from Cal Wilson

Cal Wilson and Rhys Nicholson and their husband Kyran Wheatley
Image: Instagram

Comedian Cal Wilson couldn’t make it to her friends Rhys Nicholson and their partner Kyran Wheatley’s wedding in the last few weeks of her life.

But the Melbourne comedians have honoured their friend with a handmade wedding gift she made the couple before her death this week at age 53.

Cal’s management has confirmed the comedian kept private her short battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

The comedian spent a month at Sydney’s Prince Alfred Hospital before her death on Wednesday (October 11).

Two weeks ago, Rhys Nicholson and their spouse Kyran Wheatley got married in a ceremony at the Enmore Theatre in Newtown, Sydney.


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A post shared by Rhys Nicholson (@rhysnicholson)

Kyran has shared photos of the memento Cal gave the queer couple for their wedding. The decoration features the couple atop a fairytale coach and their initials covered in an “elaborate explosion of trinkets”.

Cal Wilson made it for her friends ahead of their initial wedding date was cancelled due to Covid.

“It arrived on our doorstep, unannounced, along with a basket of messages and gifts from friends, when we cancelled our wedding day at the very start of the pandemic,” Kyran explained.

“It’s an elaborate explosion of trinkets and adhesive that filled a sad day with bonkers joy.

“After a brief journey to Sydney to welcome people at a rescheduled wedding, this work of art is now back on our top shelf.

“[It’s] an eternal reminder of the care, optimism, wit, folly, and hot glue gun, of our brilliant friend Cal.”


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A post shared by Kyran Nicholson (@kyrannicholson)

Rhys Nicholson pays tribute to friend Cal Wilson

Cal Wilson said she kept herself “sane” during Covid by picking up a hobby. The crafty comedian used her hot glue gun to create homemade headdresses that she showed off on social media.

Cairns artist Andrea Huelin later immortalised Cal wearing one of her creations in a painting. That artwork, Clown Jewels, won the packing room prize in the Archibald Prize in April 2023.

But the New Zealand-born comedian’s death just months later prompted a flood of tributes from showbiz friends and peers.

Earlier, Rhys Nicholson paid tribute to Cal on their Instagram.

“It’s hard to describe her, because everything you want to say comes out sounding like a pile of cliches,” Rhys wrote.

“I was always relieved to see Cal. Anywhere. At very good gigs, very s__t gigs, dinners, parties. Spaces had a particular vibe when she was around.

“I don’t think it’s hit all of us yet. I’m finding it so hard to fathom our friend is gone, given she had so much life in her. And was just truly f__ing generous with that life.

“Curious, profoundly fanciful and absolutely biting when it was needed. She was all in.

“A gift we got to enjoy for not nearly enough time.”


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A post shared by Rhys Nicholson (@rhysnicholson)

Rebel Wilson wrote, “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.”

Queer Australian musician Brendan Maclean tweeted, “Read about Cal Wilson passing – having a very long sit on the ground.

“We only met a few times but Cal used to put my songs on her pre-show playlist and would regularly reach out asking for songs by queer indie artists. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.”


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A post shared by Urzila Carlson (@urzilacarlson)

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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