BEIRUT: 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, who joined the Lebanese station Radio One in 1995, was found dead on Tuesday at his home in the town of Beit Meri, east of Beirut.
Local broadcaster LBC TV reported that Ford had been murdered by strangulation and blows to the head.
Radio One announced Ford’s death on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
Ford’s daily breakfast show turned him into one of the station’s most popular broadcasters.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear Gavin Ford, a member of our team for many joyful years,” Radio One said.
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. pic.twitter.com/BRzbyPoYUV— Chris Rampling (@crampling) November 27, 2018
Tributes poured in on social media for Ford, one of Lebanon’s most-loved radio hosts for years.
Ford had been living in Lebanon for 22 years in a house in Beit Meri, close to the radio station where he worked. The town, 17 km from Beirut, is in a mountainous area with a Christian majority and is popular with visitors in summer.
As Radio One’s management expressed its condolences to Ford’s family, a British Embassy spokeswoman told Arab News that “the embassy is in contact with the Lebanese authorities. We are examining the reports related to the British citizen and our staff are providing help to his family.”
Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) said that a forensic doctor had examined Ford’s body as part of a police investigation.
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.