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Zoe Ball thanks fans for their support following death of boyfriend

The Strictly It Takes Two star was devastated by Billy Yates' tragic passing

Gemma Strong

Zoe Ball has thanked fans for their support following the death of her boyfriend Billy Yates. The Strictly It Takes Two star was left "devastated" when Billy was found dead at his South London home last week. And on Wednesday, her management company issued a short statement on her behalf, thanking "everyone for their kind messages and support during a very difficult time". It's thought that Zoe, 46, and cameraman Billy, 40, had been together for at least six months before his untimely death.

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Zoe Ball has thanked fans for their support following the death of her boyfriend Billy Yates

Shortly after the news broke, she shared a poignant tribute to her boyfriend, describing him as "My Sweet Love". A friend told the Sun that Zoe had been left "completely and utterly devastated", adding: "Billy had made her happy again after the most horrendous year when her marriage broke down. This was completely out of the blue. She had no feeling that this was coming and is in total shock."

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The insider added: "As far as we know this occurred at his house in London and it was friends who raised the alarm. She's going to need a lot of time to grieve. This just feels so unfair because Zoe had finally found happiness with Billy and had so many exciting plans for their future. It's devastating. There's nothing else other than devastation today." In her last Twitter message before Billy's death, shared on 4 May, Zoe reposted a tweet from the Samaritans offering support for anyone struggling with mental health. It read: "If it really doesn't feel like the force is with you today, we're here and ready to listen."

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