Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball posts touching tribute after heartbreaking death of Radio 1 colleague

The pair worked together for years

Zoe Ball has shared an emotional tribute following the tragic death of Radio 1 colleague Simon Willis.

The 50-year-old BBC presenter took to Instagram to share the heartfelt message to her “dear friend” after his death on Tuesday (March 2).

Alongside the post, Zoe shared a string of photographs with Simon over the years.

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A post shared by Zoe Ball (@zoetheball)

What did Zoe Ball say?

Zoe’s colleague –  known as Willy – worked with the host on her BBC Radio 1 breakfast show.

As well as working together, the pair attended numerous events and parties.

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Following his death, Zoe penned: “Heartbroken to hear our dear friend Willy, Simon Willis from our Radio 1 Breakfast Show team, passed away last night.

“He’d been poorly for some time. He was the naughtiest, daftest dear chap, deliciously hilarious, the best raconteur & a total joy to work with & indeed play with.

zoe ball
Zoe Ball shared a touching tribute to her late friend (Credit: SplashNews)

“He took us on some wild wonderful adventures with the show, oh the tales. The Oscars, ski trips, the Euros, The Brits.”

Furthermore, Zoe said: “Forever in our hearts Showbiz Willis. The best of the best Baby.”

BBC’s Jo Whiley pays tribute

Meanwhile, BBC star Jo Whiley also shared a touching message on Twitter.

Alongside a photo of Willy, she shared: “We woke to the news that our beloved Willy aka Simon Willis has left us & we are bereft.

“There were 3 of us in our marriage. And it was the perfect recipe. Me. My husband Steve & Willy. He was my Dr Who husband, Ernie Wise to Steve’s Eric Morecambe, the Godfather to our kids.”

Jo later announced Will Young had stepped in to host her radio slot, saying: “I need to be with the family tonight.”

Fans offer their condolences

Plenty of fans rushed to support the pair, including BBC star Scott Mills.

Commenting on Zoe’s post, Scott said: “So sad. A brilliant, hilarious, lovely man. I would not be at Radio 1 if it wasn’t for Simon. The very best.”

Jo Whiley's family considering 'palliative care' for sick sister
Jo Whiley posted a special tribute (Credit: SplashNews.com)

In addition, a fan shared: “Lots of love! Looks like he was a wonderful person to share many marvellous memories with. Very sorry he’s gone.”

Another wrote: “Such sad news today about Simon. I think everyone who knew him loved him.”

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A third added: “Really sorry to hear this, he sounds like a special man.”

It is believed Zoe and Simon had worked together since 1998.

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