Zoe Ball told a friend to check on her late boyfriend Billy Yates when he stopped answering her calls, it has been reported.

According to The Mirror, the TV star and radio presenter "raised the alarm" with a friend hours before her cameraman boyfriend was found dead at his flat in Putney, south west London, on Friday (5 May). He was 40 years old.

"Zoe had been trying to contact Billy. They were very close and it wasn't like him to not take her calls," a source told the news website. "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."

The Antiques Roadshow cameraman reportedly took his own life after allegedly suffering from depression and financial problems.

"Billy suffered from depression but the strain of being left with an unexpected tax bill hit him hard," a source previously told The Sun. "These sorts of things are a considerable concern for anyone – but it's particularly tough when someone already has mental health issues to overcome."

Since the death of her boyfriend, 46-year-old Zoe has not appeared on her BBC Radio 2 show.

Hours before Yates was found dead, Zoe had shared a Samaritans tweet that read, "If it really doesn't feel like the force is with you today, we're here and ready to listen".

"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," Zoe's spokesman had said following the tragic death of Yates.

Zoe and Yates were dating for the past six months, following her split from husband of 18 years, Norman Cook aka DJ Fatboy Slim.


The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Visit Samaritans.org or call 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit this website to find a support phone number in your country.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please contact a free support service atMind.org.uk or call 0300 123 3393. Call charges apply.