The BBC’s Zoe Ball has taken to social media for the first time following the shock death of her boyfriend Billy Yates. The 40-year-old Antiques Roadshow cameraman was found at his South London home on Thursday evening.

The pair had been dating for only a few months after Zoe separated from her husband of 18 years Norman Cook, also known as DJ Fatboy Slim.

A friend of the BBC Radio 2 presenter told the Sun: “Zoe is overcome with grief. She is completely and utterly devastated.

“Billy had made her happy again after the most horrendous year when her marriage broke down.

“This was completely out of the blue. She had no feeling that this was coming and is in total shock.”

“She’s going to need a lot of time to grieve. This just feels so unfair because Zoe had finally found happiness with Billy and had so many exciting plans for their future.”

On Friday, Ball herself took to Instagram to post to post a picture of a pink flower alongside the messaged: “My sweet love X.”

Instagram – Zoe Ball

Meanwhile on Twitter, she re-tweeted the latest post from the mental health charity Samaritans’ account, which read: “If it really doesn’t feel like the force is with you today, we’re here and ready to listen #TalkToUs 116123 #MayTheFourthBeWithYOu.”


A spokesperson for the 46-year-old said: “Zoe is devastated and requests that during this difficult time the media respects her privacy as well as the privacy of her friends and family.”