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Zoe Ball posts emotional tribute to late Radio 1 colleague Simon Willis

‘The naughtiest, daftest dear chap’: Zoe Ball posts emotional tribute to late Radio 1 colleague Simon Willis following his tragic death aged 50 after a 3-year battle with cancer

Zoe Ball has led tributes to a much-loved Radio 1 producer, Simon Willis, who died on Tuesday night.

Simon had been battling cancer for three years, tragically succumbing to the disease aged 50.

Zoe, 50, too to social media to post an emotional tribute to Simon, whom she worked with at Radio 1 from 1998.

Tragic: Zoe Ball has led tributes to a much-loved Radio 1 producer, Simon Willis, who died on Tuesday night

Alongside photos of them together, she 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 and a total joy to work with and indeed play with.

‘He took us on some wild wonderful adventures with the show, oh the tales. The Oscars, ski trips, the Euros, The Brits. Forever in our hearts Showbiz Willis. The best of the best Baby [sic]’

Zoe was the first ever woman to host the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, with Simon instrumental in it. 

Colleague Scott Mills wrote underneath the post: ‘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 wrote a similar tribute to Simon, posting: ‘Willy was a one-off. The funniest man you could ever meet & anyone who knew him would have their own story about ‘What Willy did…’ We adored him as did everyone who knew him.’

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