Entertainment & Arts

Grotbags actress Carol Lee Scott dies aged 74

Carol Lee Scott as Grotbags Image copyright Rex Features

Actress Carol Lee Scott, who was best known as Grotbags the witch, has died at the age of 74.

She appeared in children's programmes in the 1980s and early 1990s, including ITV's Rod Hull's Emu's World.

Her family confirmed the news on social media, with her niece Gina Mear writing on Facebook on Wednesday that the actress had "lost her brave fight against cancer".

"To many of you she was Grotbags - a legend!" she said.

Image copyright Gina Mear/Twitter
Image caption Lee Scott appeared in a TV show with Rod Hull and Emu

"To me she was just aunty Carol. I shall miss her hugely, rest in peace Carol."

The actress was warmly remembered by comic and performer Rufus Hound, who described her as "an icon for folk of my generation".

Hull's son Toby added his voice to the tributes, tweeting: "Sending our thoughts to the family of Carol Lee Scott, what great memories we have of her. Xx"

'She was a real trooper'

David Lee, from Pantoni Pantomimes, told the BBC: "I was saddened to receive news of Carol's passing. She appeared in two pantomimes for me; Aladdin in Canterbury in 1984 and Aston Under Lyne with the late Ken Goodwin.

"She was a real trooper and in the time honoured tradition of showbiz, 'the show must go on!'. During the Canterbury panto run we had agreed she could take a cabaret appearance on Xmas Day near London.

"That day she badly injured her ankle but she was back on stage on Boxing Day and completed the run pushed around in a wheelchair by her sidekick in the show who played a Dragon.

"She was also a tremendous cabaret artist and great rock and roll performer. Thanks for some fabulous memories. RIP Carol."

'You made my early years awesome'

Her character Grotbags was a dastardly pantomime witch, with a bright green wig and face to match. She famously hated "brats" and did her best to spoil the fun of children, using her "Bazazzer" - a pointy stick with a gold hand on the end of it.

Fans of the show flooded Twitter with comments, with Gary Dewar writing: "Daleks. Zelda. Skeletor. Nothing - NOTHING - terrified me quite like Grotbags. Bravo!"

Noob added: "Rest in peace Grotbags. You made my early years awesome. I was so scared of you!"

Lee Scott, who was born in Somerset, began her career with cabaret performances touring clubs in the north of England, as well as stints as a London pub singer and as a Pontins Blue Coat.

She worked for the holiday park for 19 years before she began collaborating with Hull on a series of children's 1980s TV shows. They created the character Grotbags during a summer season in Cleethorpes and stayed friends until his death in 1999.

Grotbags first appeared in Emu's World before going on to get her own eponymous show, which ran on ITV for three series between 1991 and 1993.

It featured Lee Scott alongside characters including Colin the Bat, Doris the Dodo and Grumble the cauldron.

The show, set in the Gloomy Fortress, also starred puppeteer Richard Coombs.

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