Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 18:29 UK

TV host Mark Speight 'found dead'

Clips of presenter Mark Speight on TV

The body of a man, believed to be missing TV presenter Mark Speight, has been found in a remote area of London's Paddington station, police have said.

Officers are treating the death as "unexplained" but have confirmed that the man had not been hit by a train.

Mr Speight, 42, disappeared last Monday, three months after the death of his fiancee, Natasha Collins, in the bath of the flat they shared in London.

Miss Collins' mother was devastated at the latest news, her spokeswoman said.

She asked for Carmen Collins to be given time to grieve in peace.

The BBC released a statement saying: "This is very sad news and our thoughts and sympathies are with Mark's family and friends.

"Mark was a hugely talented and very popular presenter for many years."

Video footage

The body of the man was found at about 1000 BST at the station.

Mr Speight's relatives have been informed of the discovery, police said, but a formal identification has yet to take place.

Natasha Collins
Mr Speight said in January he was "distraught" at Miss Collins' death

Video footage from CCTV cameras at the station is to be studied by officers as part of their investigation.

The presenter, who was the host of BBC children's show SMart until February, was reported missing last Monday when he failed to meet Miss Collins' mother as arranged.

He was recorded on a security camera entering Queen's Park underground station in north-west London.

Then, 22 minutes later, he boarded a train on the Bakerloo Line, which serves Paddington.

'Fragile state'

Relatives had made a number of appeals over the past few days, with his father, Oliver, urging him to get in touch and not to "give up" during his time of grief.

He was blessed with a remarkable personality, great artistic talents and the wonderful warm ability to communicate those skills with people, especially children of all ages
Jan Kennedy
Mark Speight's agent

The families of both Mr Speight and Miss Collins had issued a joint statement, expressing their "deep concern" and saying he had been in "a fragile state of mind" when he vanished.

A friend had also described how Mr Speight, originally from Wolverhampton, had been planning a concert as a tribute to his late fiancee, which would have raised money for one of her chosen charities.

Mr Speight had been arrested on suspicion of murder and supplying Class A drugs following the discovery of Miss Collins' body at their St John's Wood flat on 3 January.

No charges were brought, however.

She suffered burns on 60% of her body from boiling water and had suffered a drugs overdose after taking cocaine, sleeping pills and alcohol.

A coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure at an inquest earlier this month.

CCTV images of Mark Speight
Police had released CCTV footage of Mr Speight at Queen's Park station

Speaking on behalf of Mr Speight's agent, Billy Marsh Associates, Jan Kennedy said the discovery of the body at Paddington had left the company "absolutely devastated".

"Caring and compassionate in everything he did, Mark was truly gifted in life and we are proud to have represented him as a friend and client for almost 20 years," she added.

"He was blessed with a remarkable personality, great artistic talents and the wonderful warm ability to communicate those skills with people, especially children of all ages.

"With his sensitivity of spirit, coupled with his dynamic presence and natural enthusiasm, he was loved and respected by his adoring family, friends and colleagues everywhere in the media," Ms Kennedy said.


SEE ALSO
Fiancee death presenter missing
08 Apr 08 |  London
Actress died after taking drugs
02 Apr 08 |  London
CBBC star leaves show over death
28 Feb 08 |  Entertainment

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