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‘Sad and bewildered’: Zoe Ball responds to fans' well wishes for first time since boyfriend's death

Mirror logo Mirror 5 days ago
© Rex/BBC

Television star Zoe Ball has reached out to several fans on Twitter for the first time, following the suicide of her partner, Billy Yates on 5 May.

The presenter has been inundated with well-wishes and condolences following the loss, but had remained silent on social media, apart from re-tweeting messages from the Samaritans and mental health campaigners.

But one tweet on Monday evening seemed to resonate with Zoe. Journalist Rachel Southwood wrote: "My heart goes out to you. You must be sad, bewildered and wondering what the point is. Sending you strength x".

Zoe, 46, responded within the hour, agreeing with the assessment, saying: "Pretty much spot on. Thank you for your kindness. Means so very much. Love xxx"

Today she also thanked the BBC for airing documentary Life After Suicide.

It follows a few days of Zoe responding to those who have lost loved ones in similar circumstances.

It emerged last week that Zoe's lover was found dead after she raised the alarm.

Zoe became increasingly concerned when Billy Yates failed to answer her calls in the hours before his death.

Devastated Zoe is yet to return to her Radio 2 Saturday show and has cancelled filming for the final of the BBC’s new baking programme The Big Family Cooking Showdown.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA

A source told The Sunday Mirror: “Zoe had been trying to contact Billy. They were very close and it wasn’t like him to not take her calls. That’s when she raised the alarm to his friend who went round to check – and found him. She and all of his friends are devastated.”

TV cameraman Billy was found dead at his flat in Putney, South West London, after struggling with ­depression. He and Zoe had been dating for six months following her split from DJ hubby Norman Cook.

It is believed Billy, who worked on the Antiques Roadshow and The Xtra Factor, battled mental health issues in the run-up to his death.

Credits: FameFlynet © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: FameFlynet

The Sunday Mirror told how Billy, 40, had gushed about his love for Zoe.

His pal Sophie Phelps said in a tribute on Instagram: “My thoughts are with you, Zoe. Billy loved you so much and would tell me how much he adored you.”

Zoe posted this image as the news was revealed:

My sweet love X

A post shared by Zoe Ball (@zeebeezoobee) on

The Sunday Mirror first revealed Zoe was dating Billy in February.

And her dad, TV personality Johnny Ball, 78, told us at the time: “We are very happy that she is finding a new lease of life. She is very happy at the moment and that is lovely.”

Zoe had been pictured helping Billy move into the apartment where he apparently took his own life.

Officers said the death is not being treated as suspicious.

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