British radio presenter killed in Lebanon
BEIRUT (AP) — A well-known British radio presenter who had been living in Lebanon for years was found dead in his apartment in a mountain town near Beirut on Tuesday after being apparently murdered, Lebanese officials said.
Gavin Ford’s death led to an outpouring of shock and sadness on social media by people who followed his popular morning program on all-music Radio One station. The 65-year-old Ford had worked for the station since the 1990s, gaining a large number of fans in Lebanon.
One official said Ford’s body was found Tuesday morning but refused to provide further details about the killing. LBC TV said Ford was strangled and struck on the head, leading to his death. Another official confirmed Ford was strangled, and said security agents are questioning his neighbors for details about who visited him in recent days. Ford’s apartment is in the town of Beit Mery, east of Beirut.
The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.
Ford celebrated his birthday on Monday, according to his Facebook page which was filled with posts of people grieving his death.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear Gavin Ford, a member of our team for many joyful years,” Radio One posted on its Facebook page.
Britain’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Chris Rampling, tweeted: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Gavin Ford, one of Lebanon’s most popular morning breakfast hosts.”
“The thoughts of all at the Embassy are with his family, friends and colleagues at this terribly difficult time,” Rampling said.
In December, British Embassy worker Rebecca Dykes was found murdered on the side of a road near Beirut. The suspected killer, an Uber driver, was later detained and is expected to stand trial.