'Devastated' Zoe Ball makes privacy plea after partner's death aged 40

'Devastated' Zoe Ball makes privacy plea after partner's death aged 40
Zoe Ball. Picture: PA

TV presenter Zoe Ball says she is "devastated" following the death of her partner Billy Yates at the age of 40.

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."

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

Hours earlier, she had retweeted a message from The Samaritans which said: "If it really doesn't feel like the force is with you today, we're here and ready to listen".

Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host Ball posted a picture of a flower on her Instagram page earlier on Friday, along with the caption: "My sweet love X."

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My sweet love X

A post shared by Zoe Ball (@zoetheball) on

A BBC spokesperson confirmed Kate Thornton will be stepping in to present Ball's weekly BBC Radio 2 programme on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

Ball, 46, is believed to have been in a relationship with Mr Yates for several months.

She announced her separation from husband of 18 years Norman Cook, known as DJ Fatboy Slim, in September last year.

The Metropolitan Police said on Friday: "Police were called at 6.40pm on Thursday May 4 to a residential address in Putney, South London following reports of a man found deceased.

"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."

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