Zoe Ball Says She Was 'In Shock For Two Years' After Boyfriend Billy Yates' Suicide

Daniel Welsh

Zoe Ball has spoken about the loss of her late boyfriend Billy Yates, claiming it took her two years to get over his suicide.

In 2017, the Radio 2 presenter was left devastated when her partner, Billy, took his own life, a loss which she has spoken about in a new interview with Red magazine.

She says: “I believe I was in shock for two years afterwards. It’s like you can’t see beyond putting your feet on the floor and getting out of bed each day.

“Since losing Billy, I’ve met lots of people who’ve helped me have a better understanding of the complexities of mental health. But also it’s key to remember there is help available for people living with mental health issues and there is hope.”

Zoe Ball (Photo: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
Zoe Ball (Photo: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)

The broadcaster previously said that she thinks her ongoing sobriety has helped her with her grief, claiming in an Instagram post in 2018 that she “wasn’t sure she’d have survived [the grief] intact” had she still been consuming alcohol.

“I’ve done a lot of work on my issues with booze. I’ve been able to forgive myself,” she told the magazine, when asked about her sobriety.

“It’s taken me a long time to grow up. There is help at hand with AA and other support networks.”

During the interview, Zoe was also asked about love, adding: “You find it everywhere. It’s in your friendships and your parents and your children and in music.

“Love fills your heart and breaks your heart; it’s so unpredictable, you don’t know where it’s going to come from.

“To feel love is the most incredible feeling in the world. To lose it will nearly end you and take you to your knees, but there’s always more. I look at my kids or my friends and think ‘I couldn’t love you any more’. And then I do. Love just keeps on coming.”

In 2018, Zoe completed a Sport Relief challenge in Billy’s memory, cycling for 350 miles from Brighton to Blackpool.

She ended up raising more than £500,000 for the charity, saying she was “truly overwhelmed” by the response.

Read Zoe’s full interview in the new issue of Red magazine.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393

  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)

  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk

  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.

(Photo: Red)
(Photo: Red)

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.