John Hunt: Zoe Ball pauses BBC Radio 2 show with moving message to 5 Live star after family crossbow attacks

John Hunt: Zoe Ball

John Hunt: Zoe Ball has shown her support for her BBC colleague

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 11/07/2024

- 09:43

John Hunt's wife and two daughters died on Tuesday following the attack

Zoe Ball has joined the long list of BBC stars sending their support to 5 Live commentator John Hunt following the deaths of his wife and two of his daughters.

On Tuesday, Hunt's wife Carol, 61, and daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, were found fatally injured at a house in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire.

The three were victims of a crossbow attack and a manhunt was soon underway for suspect Kyle Clifford.

Clifford, 26, has since been found and was transported to hospital on Wednesday evening where he's being treated for injuries.

Police believe the attack was targeted and carried out with the crossbow, although there is the possibility other weapons were involved.

Sending her condolences to Hunt during her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on Thursday, Ball took a moment to echo the sentiment expressed by many of Hunt's colleagues at the Beeb.

Ashlyn Close

John Hunt: Tributes have been paid at Ashlyn Close where the attack occurred


Following a news report from BBC newsreader Tina Daheley, Ball took a moment to share her personal tribute before moving on with proceedings.

"I must say, everyone at the BBC is heartbroken and deeply shocked at the news," Ball began.

She continued: "Our thoughts and prayers are with John Hunt. Mark Chapman, his friend, paid an emotional tribute yesterday on BBC 5 Live.

"We are holding you in our heart, John," Ball concluded.

Kyle Clifford

A manhunt was launched for 26-year-old Kyle Clifford who was found on Wednesday


The moment involving Chapman that Ball referred to occurred on Wednesday evening ahead of England's Euro 2024 semi-final encounter with the Netherlands.

Reporting for 5 Live on the night, Chapman similarly took a moment during proceedings to show his support for Hunt.

Trying to hold back tears, Chapman told listeners: "Good evening from Germany, we have a football match to bring you tonight and we will do and we will start our build-up to it shortly.

"But this has been a heartbreaking day, John Hunt is our colleague and our friend, not just here at the current 5 Live Sport team but all of those who worked here with him over the past 20 years and also to all of you who have enjoyed his superb commentaries.

"So on behalf of everybody connected to 5 Live Sport, our love, thoughts and support are with John and his family."

Another of Hunt's close colleagues, BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght, issued a statement on Wednesday.

He said: "There are no words. Like everyone else, I feel numb and sick on John's behalf at such incomprehensible evil.

"Everyone who knows John knows he is the absolute archetypal family man, so proud of them, so it's impossible to know what he can be going through.

"But I know I'm speaking for the whole racing community and the whole wider sports media community as well, both of which he's been part of for so long, when I say everyone is sending sympathy, love and support to him. It's just awful."

Meanwhile, former BBC presenter Dan Walker sparked controversy with his Hunt tribute after failing to mention the names of the victims.

The now-Channel 5 news anchor penned on X, formerly Twitter: "Just read through the news about John Hunt and his family. Absolutely devastating.

"Great commentator and an even better man. What a terrible tragedy."

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