BBC’S SHOW BLOW
Ex-Radio 1 breakfast show host had been dating Billy Yates for six months before he died
GRIEVING Zoe Ball has pulled out of filming the final of the BBC’s new baking show after the death of lover Billy Yates.
The telly host, 46, has fronted the entire series of The Big Family Cooking Showdown alongside former Bake Off champ Nadiya Hussain, 32.
But days after her partner Billy was found dead in his London flat, Zoe told bosses she would not be able to take part in the final episode of the series.
A source said: “Everyone understands Zoe’s predicament and there’s real sympathy for her.
“But her absence in the final is a blow for the debut series.”
Zoe and Nadiya, plus judges Rosemary Shrager and Giorgio Locatelli, had been filming episodes over the past few weeks.
The show, seen as the BBC’s replacement for Bake Off which moved to Channel 4 last year, sees 16 families cooking their best recipes. It airs on BBC2 in the autumn.
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The Sun revealed the news of Billy’s death last week.
The 40-year-old TV cameraman was found hanged after struggling with depression and financial problems.
The pair had been dating for six months following Zoe’s split from Norman Cook, aka DJ Fatboy Slim, her husband of 18 years.
Ex-Radio 1 breakfast show host Zoe has yet to return to her Radio 2 Saturday show since Billy’s death.
A spokeswoman for her said: “Zoe will not be working this weekend understandably due to recent events.
“The BBC, BBC Radio2 and Voltage Productions are aware and have been extremely supportive.”
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