Details of Billy Yates’ state of mind have come to light just days after the cameraman boyfriend of Zoe Ball was found hanged at his home in south London.
The Antiques Roadshow and X Factor cameraman was just 40 years old when he committed suicide on Thursday and the tragedy has come as a huge blow to his family and to Zoe, who he had been dating since February.
Pals of Billy have now come forwrard and revealed that he was under “enormous pressure” before his death, after he fell victim to convicted fraudster Christopher Lunn, who acted as his accountant and left him and many of his other clients with an unexpected tax bill.
Lunn was was jailed for five years in 2016, and it is believed his actions contributed to Billy’s depressive state before he took his own life a few days ago.
A source told The Sun 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. Fortunately he had a supportive network of family and friends around him.”
The tragic news has understandably hit Zoe hard and she pulled out of hosting her live BBC Radio 2 show on Saturday afternoon.
The Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter was replaced by Kate Thornton, who opened the show by saying she was sending Zoe “the biggest hugs.”
Kate, 44, said: “Sadly our lovely Zoe Ball can’t be here today. From everyone on the show and here at Radio 2, our thoughts are with Billy, his family and friends, and of course with you Zoe.”
A spokesperson for Metropolitan Police confirmed officers were called to a residential address in Putney, South London at 18.40 and, although Billy was already dead when they arrived, they are not treating the circumstances as “suspicious.”
The statement said: “Police were called to a residential address in Putney, South London at 18.40 on Thursday 4th May, to reports of a man found deceased. Officers attended alongside staff from the London Ambulance Service, and a man believed to be aged 40 was pronounced dead at the scene. The circumstances are not being treated as suspicious, and the coroner has been informed.”
Zoe, 46, separated from her DJ husband Fatboy Slim – whose real name is Norman Cook – in September 2016 after 18 years together and began dating Billy in February.
You can call the Samaritans free on 116 123.
Zoe Ball’s boyfriend Billy Yates dead at 40
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