Zoe Ball misses her radio show after death of boyfriend


Zoe Ball.

A “devastated” Zoe Ball has taken a break from hosting her live Saturday afternoon BBC Radio 2 show following the death of her boyfriend Billy Yates.

Mr Yates, 40, a cameraman for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, was found dead at his London home on Thursday evening.

Kate Thornton stood in for Ms Ball on the Zoe Ball show at 15:00 BST and said she was sending “the biggest of hugs”.

Ms Ball, 46, shared a picture of a flower on her Instagram page, along with the caption: “My sweet love X”.

Her spokesman said: “Zoe is devastated and requests that during this difficult time the media respect her privacy as well as the privacy of her friends and family.”

Suzi Perry will replace her on the BBC Radio 2 show on 13 May.

Zoe Ball


Zoe posted this photo of a flower on Instagram with the caption ‘My sweet love X’

Introducing the programme on Saturday, Ms Thornton said: “Sadly our lovely Zoe Ball can’t be here today.”

“From everyone on the show and here at Radio 2, our thoughts are with Billy, his family and friends, and of course with you Zoe,” she added.

‘Not suspicious’

Ms Ball and Mr Yates had been in a relationship for several months following her separation from husband of 18 years Norman Cook – who performs as DJ Fatboy Slim – in September.

Police were called at 18:40 on Thursday to Mr Yates’s flat in Putney, south London, where he was later pronounced dead.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended. A man believed to be aged 40 was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”