‘Wish I had a time machine’ Zoe Ball shares emotional tribute to boyfriend Billy Yates

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  • Zoe Ball has posted a heartbreaking tribute to her boyfriend Billy Yates three months after he passed away.

    The TV presenter shared an Instagram snap of her and Billy’s entwined feet, with a sunset in the background. She shared the image with her 84k followers and said, ‘Miss my Happy Feets Boy so.

    ‘Big time loving you always @billwahweewoo 3 months today. Ever grateful for all the love & support – wish I had a time machine .’

    Zoe, 46, was said to have found love again with cameraman Billy after her split from husband Norman Cook in September 2016, but was dealt a heartbreaking blow as he reportedly committed suicide at the age of 40.

    Fans were quick to send messages of support to the star, with one writing: ‘Big hugs & lots of love lovely those little steps get bearable in time. You are surrounded by so much love even from your lil’ old Instagram friends who you’ve never met but wish you well.’

    Another agreed: ‘It’s hard every day different feelings keep strong you have so much love round you and you give so much love back keep strong my love to you.’

    A close friend of Zoe’s told The Sun at the time of Billy’s death: ‘Zoe is overcome with grief. She is completely and utterly devastated. 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. As far as we know this occurred at his house in north 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.’

    A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed to the paper, at the time, that police were called to a residential address in Putney, where ‘a man was 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,’ they said. ‘The circumstances are not being treated as suspicious, and the coroner has been informed.’

    The couple’s relationship is thought to have begun after the end of Zoe’s 18 year marriage to Fatboy Slim star Norman, with whom she has two children, son Woody, born in 2000, and daughter Nelly, whom they welcomed in 2010.

    At the time of their separation, the couple released a statement which read: ‘With great sadness we are announcing that we have separated.

    ‘After many exciting adventures together over the last 18 years we have come to the end of our rainbow.

    ‘We are still great friends and will continue to support each other and raise our beautiful children together, living next door but one.’