UK TV presenter died after 'solo sex act went wrong'

By Mark Hughes

BBC presenter Kristian Digby was found dead in his London apartment on Monday. Photo / Creative Commons image from mattcrockett.com
BBC presenter Kristian Digby was found dead in his London apartment on Monday. Photo / Creative Commons image from mattcrockett.com

Police are investigating the possibility that the daytime BBC presenter Kristian Digby accidentally killed himself during a solo sex act which went wrong.

Digby, 32, was found dead at his home in Newham, east London, at 8am on Monday by a friend, who called an ambulance. It is thought he died after starving himself of oxygen to heighten his sexual arousal.

Police said they are treating the death as "unexplained" and sources said that a belt and a bag - commonly used to achieve the desired effect of auto-erotic asphyxiation - were removed from the house for forensic tests.

However a post-mortem examination carried out yesterday proved inconclusive, meaning it is likely that an official cause of death will not be established until an inquest, which will be opened and adjourned this week, is completed.

Last night family and colleagues of the To Buy or Not To Buy host paid tribute.

In a statement his relatives said: "The family are saddened and in a state of shock at the loss of Kristian, who they loved very much."

Liam Keelan, the controller of BBC Daytime, said: "Kristian was without doubt one of the most popular and talented presenters on BBC Daytime.

"He cared passionately about the programmes he presented and viewers loved the charm and warmth he brought to every one of his shows. He will be very much missed by all those who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."

Born and raised in Torquay, Devon, Digby was a property expert who had worked on television shows including Double Agents, Living In The Sun, House Swap and Buy It, Sell It, Bank It?. He won a junior Bafta in 1997 for his short film Words Of Deception.

Neighbours said that he moved to the area about 10 years ago. In the BBC series To Build Or Not To Build Digby decided to build his own dream house in the back garden of his end-of-terrace house.

If it is confirmed that he was killed during a sex act that went wrong, he will join a growing list of celebrities who have apparently died this way. The actor David Carradine, star of the Kill Bill films, and INXS singer Michael Hutchence died in similar circumstances.

Digby's agent and friend, Jo Wander, said: "I am devastated by the loss. He was a lovely guy and a very talented presenter and director. I will miss him hugely and my thoughts at this time are with his family and his many friends. He will be sorely missed."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Police were called to reports of a body of a man in his 30s. Ambulance services attended and life was pronounced extinct. Next of kin were informed and we await formal identification."

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