By Steven Morris |The Guardian|
A radio presenter who left her show while it was on air and was found dead at her home hours later took her own life, an inquest has concluded.
Vicki Archer, who left work part-way through a drive-time show, had a history of depression and had made two previous attempts on her life, Shropshire coroner’s court was told.
The 41-year-old, who had emailed a colleague at BBC Radio Shropshire saying she was feeling upset and left work at about 5pm, was found at her home in Shrewsbury on 6 August.
The coroner, John Ellery, was told that Archer, a divorced mother of three, was found by her stepfather, Lee Holyoake, around three hours later, after knocks at her door went unanswered.
Holyoake used a neighbour’s ladder to gain access through a bedroom window. A statement read to the hearing on his behalf said he had made efforts to revive her but she was pronounced dead by paramedics at about 8.20pm.
In his statement, Holyoake said “alarm bells started to ring” after he and Archer’s mother were told she had left work early and got no response when knocking at her door.
Recording a finding of suicide, Ellery said: “We have heard that Victoria had made two previous attempts to take her own life in the past and she suffered from depression.
“It is not necessary, nor is it appropriate, to go further into her personal and private life … This is a tragic case for her family and our condolences and thoughts are, and must be, with her children.”
In a statement issued after the inquest, members of the presenter’s family said: “We still cannot believe that Vicki’s not here. Her zest for life was infectious, she was a wonderful mother and daughter, and her charm brought a smile to all those who knew her. She could light up a room.
“While we will always miss her, we want to remember and celebrate everything that she achieved, which is why, in the spring, we are planning a memorial celebration of her life.”
David Jennings, the BBC’s head of regional programmes for the West Midlands, said: “We are heartbroken at Vicki’s death. Everyone at Radio Shropshire respected her as a great presenter and journalist, but so much more than that we loved the sense of fun she brought to her shows and the station. Her loss leaves a huge void. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”
Archer had presented the afternoon drive-time show at BBC Radio Shropshire with co-host Adam Green since 2010. She had also had a successful career in commercial radio and as an event host and voiceover artist.