Zoe Ball 'overwhelmed' by response to Sport Relief documentary

Zoe Ball

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Ball cycled more than 350 miles from her home town to where she lives now

Television presenter Zoe Ball has said she has been “truly overwhelmed” by the response to a BBC documentary about her recent Sport Relief cycle challenge.

“Thank you for sharing. Thank you for donating. Let’s keep sharing. So much love,” she wrote on Twitter.

Ball, 47, was inspired to cycle from Blackpool to Brighton after her partner Billy Yates took his own life in 2017.

Broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday, Zoe Ball’s Hardest Road Home documented her five-day, 355-mile journey.

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She reached the end of her cycle challenge on 9 March

Narrated by Peter Capaldi, the programme can currently be watched on the BBC iPlayer.

Ball had been in a relationship with Yates, a cameraman for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, for several months when he was found dead last May.

She said his death had left her with “lots of questions” she hoped embarking on her charity challenge would help her answer.

Bob Harris, Ball’s Radio 2 colleague, wrote on Twitter that the documentary had shown her to be “vulnerable, exposed, inspirational and totally wonderful”.

His sentiments were echoed on social media by other celebrities, members of the public and representatives from mental health organisations.

Ball’s efforts have so far raised more than £500,000 for Sport Relief, which raises money for mental health projects across the UK as well as other causes.

Advice and support

If you or someone you know are feeling emotionally distressed, these organisations offer advice and support:

  • Samaritans – available 24 hours a day for anyone struggling to cope. A safe place to talk where calls are completely confidential
  • Papyrus and HOPELineUK – for young people considering suicide or if you are concerned about someone you know
  • CALM – aims to prevent male suicide in the UK and offers anonymous, confidential listening, information and signposting
  • Lifeline – support to people suffering distress or despair in Northern Ireland, regardless of age or district
  • CALL – emotional support and information on mental health and related matters to people in Wales
  • Breathing Space – a confidential phone and web service for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety in Scotland
  • Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – helps meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend

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