Comic actress who blundered to success dies at 80

Joann Johnston
January 13, 2018

Abbot called her "a woman of vast warmth and generosity". "I count myself very lucky to have worked alongside her", he said.

Bella Emberg has died at the age of 80.

She popped up three times in Doctor Who, most notably as Mrs Croot in the Tenth Doctor adventure Love & Monsters, with David Tennant as the Timelord and Peter Kay as monstrous alien The Abzorbaloff.

Emberg was a favourite on the Benny Hill Show and also appeared in Softly, Softly and its successor Z Cars, as well as Grange Hill. He described Emberg, who appeared as Blunderwoman on The Russ Abbot Show, as a "huge comedy talent" and "a woman of vast warmth and generosity". She really was a one-off'.

But she will be most remembered for her spoof superhero character in a comedic partnership with Russ Abbot as "Cooperman & Blunderwoman".

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Emberg had recently finished filming her part on the new Sky One comedy In The Long Run, which has been created by Idris Elba and is due to premiere later this year.

Pianist Bobby Crush said it was 'such sad news, ' adding: 'We've been chums since appearing together in a Summer show with Russ Abbot at the Princess Theatre, Torquay in 1981.

In an interview previous year, she admitted despite the plaudits that came with the job, it also became a burden.

She said: 'Blunderwoman saved my career - and I still view her as a complete blessing.

"After it ended in 1996 I couldn't get work". She was a familiar figure to younger viewers from her role as Aunt Barbara in CBBC sitcom Bear Behaving Badly. "Once every few weeks I go and look at that Blunder Woman costume - still hanging up at home - and I feel nothing but gratitude".

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