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Blunderwoman star Bella Emberg who partnered Russ Abbot in 80s comedy show dies aged 80

Mirror logo Mirror 13/01/2018 Stephen Jones

© mirror Blunderwoman comedy star Bella Emberg has died at the age of 80, her agent has revealed.

She found fame in the 1980s, most notably alongside Russ Abbot, with whom she shared a comedy partnership.

At its peak, a staggering 18 million viewers saw Blunderwoman battle criminals alongside Cooperman, a mix of Superman and comedian Tommy Cooper, played by the show’s namesake

Emberg also starred in Tv shows as diverse as The Lily Savage Show and Doctor Who.

Her death was announced tonight by her agent.

Her friend Bobby Crush paid tribute tonight on Twitter: "Such sad news ... my wonderful friend Bella Emberg has passed away.

"We’ve been chums since appearing together in a Summer show with Russ Abbot at the Princess Theatre, Torquay in 1981.

"A genuinely nice woman and despite her fierce on-stage characterisations, a truly gentle soul."

Last summer she spoke exclusively to the Daily Mirror about her career in a fascinating interview.

Then 79, revealed she had to be persuaded to try on the Blunderwoman costume which fuelled her rise to stardom.

She said: The first time I saw the costume I said: ‘I am NOT wearing that!’ ...anyway I did and the first time I put it on I span round and my boobs fell out! I was always very careful after that.

“Now my right leg’s gone and the left’s going. If I tried to spin round like Blunderwoman today, I’d probably fall over."

She said the character was so successful it helped support her financially after acting jobs dried up.

She added: “Blunderwoman saved my career – and I still view her as a complete blessing.

“After it ended in 1996 I couldn’t get work. I went for jobs and they’d say: ‘We’d love to hire you but you’re too well known with Russ’.”

Born in Brighton in 1937, Emberg said she could remember doodlebugs, Germany’s V-1 flying bombs, landing near her house during the Second World War.

Wanting to be an entertainer from an early age, she made her debut in a summer season in Ryde on the Isle of Wight at 25.

She was eventually hired for small TV show roles by the likes of Les Dawson, Stanley Baxter and Benny Hill.

But her breakthrough was joining Abbot’s show, which ran from 1980 to 1996.

Slideshow: People we lost in 2017 (Microsoft GES)

xx People we lost in 2017

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