BBC Radio 2's Zoe Ball inundated with support as she pays tribute to late partner after mum's death

Zoe Ball
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Zoe Ball attends ITV's "MAMMA MIA! I Have a Dream" photocall at Charlotte Street Hotel on September 28, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images) -Credit:Getty Images

Zoe Ball has received an outpouring of love and condolences after a touching tribute to her late partner, posted on Instagram just days following the announcement of her mother's passing.

Antiques Roadshow cameraman Billy Yates, who had been in a relationship with BBC Radio 2 host Zoe, sadly took his own life in 2017 at just 40 years old.

Honouring the seven-year anniversary since Billy's death, Zoe shared a sentimental photo of him on her Instagram this Saturday, captioned simply: "7 years, kisses in the sky."

Following the post, supporters rallied around the star, including Stacey Dooley who left a heart emoji, and a sympathetic fan who commented: "Oh've been through so much...we got you and you got this."

Zoe became involved with Billy following her separation from ex-husband Norman Cook (more commonly known as DJ Fatboy Slim) back in 2016. To commemorate her late boyfriend's memory, Zoe cycled a strenuous journey from Blackpool to Brighton for Sport Relief, thereby shedding light on mental health matters, reports the Mirror.

Recalling precious moments spent together, she said tearfully: "It was just that moment and that feeling of, 'Oh my god, I love him so much and we'll find help and it will all be ok'. And I wish I'd told him that."

Reflecting further, she confessed: "I just thought, whatever it is we have to do, I love him so much we will get through this somehow."

Reflecting on the events leading up to his tragic end, she shared her experience: "He got on his bike and he cycled off and he turned round and he blew me a kiss, and that was the last time that I saw him. And I feel really grateful that I got my goodbye in a way. And I think that was my goodbye."

In another emotional update, Zoe recently announced on Instagram that her dear mother Julia has passed away just weeks after Zoe made public Julia's cancer diagnosis. She broke the heartrending news in the early hours of 24th April.

"Sleep tight dear mama. thank you for teaching us how to love unconditionally, to always show courage and empathy, and how, even in the darkest of days, laughter is the greatest of gifts. we are bereft without you but will hold so tight to each other," Zoe wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of her departed mother as she reported Julia's passing in the previous week.

Taking over The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show in Zoe's absence, Gaby Roslin extended her sympathies and support, recognising that Zoe had been caring for her mother recently. "It's no secret Zoe has been off for a little while looking after her mum, Julia" Gaby remarked at the start of the programme, soon after Zoe's statement.

"Very sadly, Julia lost her fight yesterday and we're all obviously sending so much love to Zoe and the whole family," Gaby Roslin said. She continued by expressing her understanding for those who have faced similar bereavements: "It's a horrible, awful time - and I know so many of you have been through this, loving a parent and a loved one, and I think the one thing I'd like to pass on is, grief has no rule. There are no rules about this at all."

While filling in for Zoe Ball on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, Gaby sent a poignant message to her colleague: "Zoe, you know I have got your back - I'll always have your back. I love you dearly, you're a very dear friend and all of us on the team love you and send you so much love. And to anybody else who is fighting the fight and being as brave as they can be, I am sending you lots of love as well."

She then played 'Songbird' by Fleetwood Mac in tribute to Zoe, who is mourning her mother's passing.