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TV presenter Zoe Ball Gareth Cattermole/Getty Image

Zoe Ball has been left devastated after her new boyfriend, Billy Yates, took his own life after allegedly suffering from depression at the age of 40.

The Antiques Roadshow cameraman, who was found dead in his south London flat on Thursday evening, had been dating the 46-year-old television presenter for at least six months.

It has now emerged that Yates had been "put under enormous pressure" after becoming a victim of a convicted fraudster, according to The Sun.

He had used notorious accountant Christopher Lunn, who is serving five years behind bars after he was convicted in 2016 for evading £6m in tax and leaving clients with huge tax bills.

A source told the newspaper: "Billy suffered from depression but the strain of being left with an unexpected tax bill hit him hard.

"These sorts of things are a considerable concern for anyone – but it's particularly tough when someone already has mental health issues to overcome."

Lunn's clients are said to have included the likes of Fiona Bruce and Sadie Frost, although they were oblivious to his fraudulent activities. Like Yates, many of them found themselves with sizeable bills to pay back.

When Lunn was finally sentenced, the taxman claimed: "This investigation has already recovered £20million as Lunn's former clients settle their tax liabilities, with more to come."

Heartbroken Ball posted a poignant tribute to her boyfriend on Instagram, with the caption "My Sweet Love" under a picture of a single pink flower.

After his body was discovered on Thursday, an ambulance arrived at the scene minutes later, but paramedics were unable to revive him.

Another source told The Sun: "When the time is right, Zoe is keen to tell Billy's parents how much she loved their son, and will miss him.

"He was clearly far more troubled than anyone knew, but they had many happier times together and his support was invaluable to her.

"She wants to share those memories with them, and she hopes it will help both them as they try to come to terms with what happened."

The radio personality did not appear on her afternoon BBC Radio 2 show following the tragic death of her boyfriend, who worked as cameraman for BBC's Antiques Roadshow.

Television presenter and DJ Kate Thornton replaced Zoe on the Zoe Ball show on Saturday (6 May).


The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It can be contacted via Samaritans.org or by calling 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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