Keith Floyd enjoyed a last slap-up meal hours before he died.
The eccentric celebrity chef – who died on Monday from a heart attack – had been celebrating the 65th birthday of his friend Celia Martin with a luxurious lunch of oysters and champagne shortly before he passed away.
Martin went with Floyd to hospital in the morning for a consultation about his bowel cancer before dining at the Hix Oyster and Fish house in Dorset.
Martin – who lived with the chef in Bridport - said: “We had been to see the specialist about his bowel cancer – he was optimistic about his chances of beating it.
“Afterwards we had lunch in Lyme Regis and Keith told me, ‘I have not felt this well in ages’. “
The 65-year-old chef had settled down to watch a documentary about him – titled ‘Keith Meets Keith’ and presented by actor Keith Allen – when he was taken ill.
Martin explained: “Keith laid down and I thought he went to sleep. Then his breathing became erratic. I’m still in shock, I can’t get to grips with it.”
Meanwhile, an extract from Floyd's autobiography has been released which shows him bidding farewell to his fans.
It reads: “As Charles Dickens wrote: 'It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.'
“Also, I feel a terrific sense of achievement. I was and still am extremely proud of what I've been able to do.
“I was lucky enough to be able to travel the world, at someone else's expense, and to taste magnificent dishes, cook with unusual and interesting ingredients, and share this knowledge with millions upon millions of television viewers and readers of my cookery books; not just the British, but people all around the globe.
“Dear reader, sometimes I worry about what I've left out. And sometimes I worry about what I've put in. But, for now, as this book fades to black, I'll have another pastis. Thank you, and au revoir.”