My Celebrity Life

Iain Stirling and Kirsten O’Brien remember ‘true legend’ Mark Speight on 13th anniversary of his death

Kirsten O’Brien has paid tribute to her late friend Mark Speight (Picture: WireImage, BBC)

Mark Speight has been remembered fondly on the 13th anniversary of his death this week.

The CBBC star died by suicide on April 7, 2008 at the age of 42, just three months after the death of his fiancee Natasha Collins.

Kirsten O’Brien, who famously presented SMart alongside Speight for many years, shared a tweet on Wednesday paying tribute to her late friend.

‘Off to bed but just thinking about my mate Mark Speight who we lost 13 years ago today, still the funniest person I have ever had the joy of knowing,’ she tweeted.

Love Island host Iain Stirling said: ‘Mark was one of the many reason [sic] I was so excited when I first started working at CBBC. A true legend.’

Urging his followers to check in on their loved ones, he added: ‘Today why not ask a friend how they are and then ask again. Could make all the difference. X.’

Speight was well known as one of CBBC’s top hosts but he quit presenting SMart due to being overwhelmed with grief after Collins’ death.

 

 

Kirsten recently opened up about Speight’s death and recalled how she had the difficult task of announcing the news to their young fans on Newsround.

‘It was just horrendous,’ she said on the Hot Mess Mums podcast.

‘I felt quite a lot of pressure which is weird because I know it wasn’t about me, but I felt like I was in the eye of the storm.’

Recalling the attention surrounding Speight’s death, Kirsten said: ‘I think there will, thankfully, be very few people in life who will ever have to experience the horror of seeing one of your friends in the news headlines and I just remember walking on to the train…

Speight died by suicide aged 42 (Picture: PA)

‘You know everyone discards the Metro everywhere, I could just see his face everywhere, all over the train.’

Kirsten revealed how people would ask her what happened to Speight in public, sending her into floods of tears.

When asked how she thinks Speight would have coped if he lived in the social media age, Kirsten said: ‘Thinking about it now, in light of social media, I think there is small room to be thankful that there wasn’t that much social media at the time.

‘In that period after Tash had died and Mark was still around, I think that he would not of [sic] liked that social media environment at all, which has been proved of late with Caroline Flack bless her, it’s just not a nice world…

‘In some ways there’s a small mercy that he did not have to experience that social media environment.’



Need support? Contact the Samaritans

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.


Credit: Original article published here.

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