A wealthy British TV host, termed “presenter” in the UK, has been found dead in an apparent solo sex game gone wrong.
The ex-partner of hugely popular BBC presenter Kristian Digby found the 32-year-old dead in his east London home on Monday. Paramedics arrived at the house about 7:45 a.m. local time and tried to revive the popular host, but were unsuccessful.
A post-mortem examination is expected to determine whether Digby, host of daytime real estate show To Buy or Not to Buy, died of suffocation after deliberately restricting his oxygen supply. A technique sometimes used in auto-erotic play, or couple’s play, to enhance the sexual pleasure for men.
Called “auto-erotic asphyxiation,” it is an extremely dangerous practice, in which male participants deliberately starve themselves of oxygen to increase sexual pleasure, and intensify orgasm. Masks, ligatures or even plastic bags can be used to achieve the desired effect.
Police sources confirmed that Digby died in a solo sex game that went wrong. A belt and a bag were taken away from the house by police. A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman would say only that an initial post-mortem examination on his body was "inconclusive."
"An inquest will be opened and adjourned in due course," she said. "The death is still being treated as unexplained."
The spokeswoman said there was no other person involved in the death, and there was no suggestion it was suicide.
Kung Fu and Kill Bill actor David Carradine died last June after his body was found in a hotel wardrobe in Bangkok, with a rope around his neck. It was suspected that he had been involved in some sort of sex game gone wrong.
Digby was from a family of real estate developers and had a personal property portfolio worth an estimated £1 million ($1.6 million).
He was also an award winning director, taking out the Best Student Film award at the Melbourne Film Festival in 1998 and a junior Bafta award in 1997.
In 2001, Digby hosted/presented That Gay Show on BBC Choice.
He went on to front several popular shows for the British broadcaster, including Double Agents, Living in the Sun, House Swap and Buy it, Sell It, Bank It.
A BBC spokesman said Digby was a "much-loved and talented presenter."
"He brought a real sense of energy and warmth to all the shows he presented for us and will be sorely missed," the spokesman said.
"Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."
His agent and friend Jo Wander said: "I am devastated by the loss. He was a lovely guy and a very talented presenter and director.
"I will miss him hugely and my thoughts at this time are with his family and his many friends."
— The Curator