DRAGONS’ Den host Evan Davis received a phone call on his wedding day to learn that his critically ill father had taken his own life.
Quintin Davis, 92, had left a message that his “system is being shut down” and that he had “no alternative,” Evan told the Sunday Times.
BBC star Evan, 61, was alerted that something was wrong shortly after his marriage to Guillaume Baltz, 56, when his brother Roland sent him a message urging him to “call as soon as possible”.
It happened during the reception and the occasion became “a very warm, supportive and thoughtful day” after he announced it in a speech.
He told his guests: “We just got some news. My father has died.
“But I don’t want you to be alarmed. He was very old and it was definitely about time.”
“Actually, we can’t do anything. So I suggest we move on.”
Evan, who has another brother, Beric, later told them how his father died.
The former Newsnight host said his father gave a “proud and loving” speech ten years earlier when he entered into a civil union ceremony with Mr Baltz.
Their London wedding in July 2021 was a follow-up with guests not present for the first big day.
He explained that his family didn’t know why his father chose this day to die, adding: “We’ve all been speculating about what the hell was going on in his head.” . There’s no such thing as a good day, is there?
“And I know he didn’t do it to ruin our day.”
His father, who was battling colon cancer and suffering from heart failure, left his wife Hazel with loving messages and notes for his sons.
He and Hazel had been together for 65 years but she placed herself in foster care during the pandemic after showing signs of dementia.
A handwritten note from Mr Davis said: “To my entire family, I am so sorry – so, so sorry – to have to force this on you. But it’s the best result.
“My system is crashing and I’m on the verge of a mental collapse, which means I’m going insane and physically deteriorating.
“I really have no alternative. Thank you everyone for being such a wonderful family.”
Evan added: “After being together for 65 years, being home alone was suddenly a big deal. I think he felt guilty that he couldn’t take care of her.”
You’re not alone
A life is lost to suicide in the UK EVERY 90 minutes.
It does not discriminate and touches the lives of people in all sectors of society – from the homeless and unemployed to construction workers and doctors to reality stars and footballers.
It is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car accidents.
And men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Yet it is rarely talked about, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop now and take notice.
That’s why The Sun created the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The goal is that we can all do our part to save lives by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health.
Let’s all pledge to ask for help when we need it and to listen to others… You are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs help coping with mental health issues, the following organizations offer support:
- QUIET, www.thecalmzone.net0800 585 858
- heads together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Spirit, www.mind.org.uk0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org0800 068 41 41
- Samaritan, www.samaritans.org116 123
- movember, www.uk.movember.com
- fear Britain www.anxietyuk.org.uk03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm