Zoe Ball Moves Viewers To Tears As She Remembers Boyfriend Billy Yates In Sport Relief Documentary

Fans hailed her as an inspiration.

Zoe Ball moved viewers to tears as she detailed the last time she saw her late boyfriend Billy Yates.

The presenter featured in a documentary ‘Zoe Ball’s Hardest Way Home’ on Wednesday (21 March), which followed her 350 mile Sport Relief cycle from Blackpool to Brighton that she had done in his memory.

Zoe Ball recalled the last time she saw boyfriend Billy Yates
Zoe Ball recalled the last time she saw boyfriend Billy Yates

During the show, Zoe had many emotional moments as she reflected on their relationship, and teared up as she recalled the last time she saw Billy, who took his life last year after struggling with depression.

“He called me and as I turned round, his little face was there and at that moment, my heart exploded with all this love,” she said. “I thought to myself, whatever it is that we have to do, I love him so much, we will get through this somehow.

“It was just that moment, that feeling of oh my god, I love him so much, we’ll find some help, it will be OK. And I wish I’d told him that.

“He hopped on his bike and he cycled off, and he turned around and blew me a kiss goodbye, and that was the last time I saw him.”

Speaking through tears, she added: “I feel really grateful that I got my goodbye in a way, and I think that was my goodbye you know.”

Viewers were also emotional and sent messages of support and inspiration to Zoe on Twitter:

I haven't stopped crying yet @sportrelief Well done #ZoeBall 🚴🏼♀️ #MentalHealthAwareness

— Rachel 🐝 (@Hairnettt) March 21, 2018

Vulnerable, exposed, inspirational and totally wonderful @ZoeTheBall

— Bob Harris (@WhisperingBob) March 21, 2018

Found myself very emotional watching this Zoe. Be proud of yourself. It was easy to donate.

— Sandra (@mamatotwins13) March 22, 2018

An incredibly moving documentary, admire your strength and determination at a difficult time for you but for such a good cause. Inspiring.✨

— Melanie Ktorides (@melanie_mjk) March 22, 2018

I'm an emotional mess watching #hardestroadhome because all I can think of is my beautiful brother Xavier who took his own life 3 yrs ago on March 26th, he was 33. I think it's a wonderful thing @ZoeTheBall has achieved. Suicide is so sudden and cruel it rips your heart in two.

— natasha m (@nrem511) March 21, 2018

I cried my way through it! Well done Zoe - you are extraordinary!

— ElisbethNorris (@LizNorris18) March 22, 2018

Watching @ZoeTheBall on @BBCOne. So tender and raw. Her and the contributors are so brave but it’s doing such an important job. @sportrelief

— Alex Jones (@MissAlexjones) March 21, 2018

What an amazing programme last night @ZoeTheBall @sportrelief. So many inspiring moments from the cycle challenge to the families met along the way. Stories of sadness, yet hope had me in tears. The children along the route made me smile. A must watch for everyone #mentalhealth

— DepressedDetective (@georgie_lloyd) March 22, 2018

Well done @ZoeTheBall. I've sobbed for the past hour and that's not even a scratch on what those with mental health issues battle on daily basis. It's so important we talk AND listen #itsokaytotalk

— Lucy Davies (@LucyD_QI) March 21, 2018

#ZoeBall Doing very well to hold it together. You need a hug, Lovely. You do a smashing job. #ItTakesTwo

— Jackie Kane (@JackieKane) December 15, 2017

Completely moved by @ZoeTheBall @sportrelief challenge tonight - what an inspirational way to raise vital, vital awareness around #mentalhealth and the cruel impact it can have. But it doesn’t have to stay that way!! I’ve donated my £20 - please help if you can, too 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

— Alex Mason (@alexdmasonPR) March 21, 2018

After the show aired, Zoe said she was “truly overwhelmed” by the response as she thanked people for sharing their own stories and donating to the cause, urging them to continue doing so.

Truly overwhelmed with the response from people who watched our doc. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for donating. Let’s keep sharing. So much love ❤️❤️❤️@sportrelief https://t.co/HG3Liw7IZe

— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) March 21, 2018

Thank you to Penny & her family, Caroline & Colin & all the team at @lifevssuicide & to Jason & Will for taking part in #hardestroadhome & for spreading the love & hope & to all the gorgeous people we met along the way @sportrelief ❤️

— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) March 21, 2018

And huge love, respect & beyond to @gpwhyte @dottie264 @Mark_R_Woods Dr Phil @pamelaezra for being my own mental & physical health support squad during #HardestRoadHome @sportrelief Some of the best humans I’ve met 🙏🏼

— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) March 22, 2018

So far, Zoe has raised over £500,000 for Sport Relief, with that total expected to rise even further over the coming days.

Zoe began dating Billy last year following her split from husband Norman Cook, aka DJ Fatboy Slim, and vowed to do something in his memory after his suicide.

You can still donate to Sport Relief here, with this year’s telethon airing on Friday at 7pm on BBC One.


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