A BBC radio presenter took her own life shortly after coming off-air in the middle of her show following an ongoing battle with depression, an inquest heard.
Vicki Archer, 41, was found dead at home by her step-father just hours after leaving a radio station part through her afternoon slot – telling colleagues she was “upset”.
The mum-of-three had been co-hosting the 3-7pm BBC Radio Shropshire show with Adam Green when she abruptly went off the air shortly before 5pm.
An inquest heard how she told BBC colleagues she needed “a break” before she returned to her home on Woodcote Way, in Shrewsbury, Shrops.
Her step-father Lee Holyoake, 64, discovered Vicki’ lifeless body at around 8.15pm after he went round to fix her cooker along with he 73-year-old mum Beryl.
He climbed in through an open window after getting no answer when he tried knocking the door and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
Tragically, nothing could be done to save the popular broadcaster and she was pronounced dead at 8.21pm.
Shropshire Coroners Court heard Vicki had made two previous attempts to take her life and had lived with depression.
Social media posts
In the days leading up to her death, she had retweeted posts about inner demons and mental health issues.
She also shared links to the Samaritans’ hotline number and wrote about “hurtful gossip” saying: “Gossip is rarely kind, positive or encouraging.
“It’s corrosive, hurtful and normally has nothing to do with you.
“You don’t need to be part of it. Say no thanks and move away.”
Today (Wed) Shropshire Coroner John Ellery concluded Vicki died as a result of suicide.
He said: “Victoria had made two previous attempts to take her own life in the past and suffered from depression.
“Victoria left her radio show in mid-air and she said she was going for a break.
“My conclusion is Victoria did do the act that led to her death.
“She intended to kill herself, and that leads me to the inevitable conclusion of suicide.
“This is a tragic case for her family and our condolences are and must be with her children.”
‘She could light up a room’
A statement released by Vicki’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.
“But in the meantime we want to thank everyone for their support and kindness helping us through our immeasurable loss.”
Gavin Hogarth, Vicki’s ex-husband and the father of her children, attended the inquest but did not wish to comment outside court.
David Jennings, Head of the BBC’s regional programmes, West Midlands, said in a statement afterwards: “We are heartbroken at Vicki’s death.
“Everyone here 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.”
Samaritans’ free to call helpline is 116 123