Zoe Ball posts tribute to late boyfriend on anniversary of his death

zoe ball
Zoe Ball posts tribute to late boyfriendEamonn M. McCormack - Getty Images

Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide.

Zoe Ball posted a tribute to her late boyfriend, Billy Yates, on the seventh anniversary of his death.

Yates, a cameraman for Antiques Roadshow, passed away at the age of 40 on this day in 2017, with Ball commemorating his memory with a post on Instagram. “7 years, kisses in the sky x,” she wrote in the caption alongside star emojis and a selfie of Yates.

The former Strictly: It Takes Two host was supported by her followers in the comments, with one writing: “Thinking of you Zoe. When you love hard the pain is hard. Gorgeous picture.”

Related: BBC's Gaby Roslin shares update on Zoe Ball as she misses Radio 2 show

“Sending so much love to you Zoe, massive big squeezes,” added another, with Stacey Dooley, Fearne Cotton and Natalie Cassidy all also offering messages of support in the comment section.

Ball has spoken candidly about the loss of Yates in the ensuing years, saying in 2018: “One of the things that Sport Relief is supporting this year is mental health. And that's very close to my heart.

“I think a lot of people know that my boyfriend struggled with depression, and he died last year. Billy, he worked on this show. After he died, I was left with lots of questions… Most people you meet are going to have been touched by this subject.”

zoe ball
Eamonn M. McCormack - Getty Images

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Ball recently took time away from her BBC Radio 2 show, with the presenter announcing last month that her mother had sadly passed away, writing: “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. Your grace & your smile that lit up every room you were in, will light the stars to guide us. love xx."

We encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Information about how to access support is available via the NHS, and organisations who can offer help include Samaritans on 116 123 or Mind on 0300 123 3393.

Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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