Johnny Ball has told of the support he has been giving his daughter Zoe following the death of her boyfriend Billy Yates.

The TV veteran, 79, also said that the radio DJ is keeping herself busy with work in order to keep her mind occupied.

The Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host, 46, was left devastated after her partner Yates was found dead at his London Home in May, aged 40.

Johnny Ball
Johnny Ball (Andrew Stuart/PA)

Ball told The Mirror: “If she was next door we would pop round and say: ‘Are you OK?’ but we’re 60 miles away.

“So we text asking: ‘Are you OK? Keep your pecker up. Come on, be strong.'”

Zoe returned to hosting her Saturday BBC Radio 2 show in early June after several weeks off following Yates’ death.

Ball, who appears in More4’s The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old, said: “She’s started work again and the attention that needs takes her mind from dark thoughts.”

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball (Ian West/PA)

The TV and radio star has been supported by friends, including her estranged husband DJ Norman Cook, otherwise known as Fatboy Slim.

Prior to her relationship with Yates, a cameraman for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, Ball was married to Cook for 17 years.