UK

John Hunt’s BBC colleagues ‘heartbroken’ by family’s deaths in crossbow attack

His wife Carol Hunt and two of their daughters, Hannah and Louise, were found dead on Tuesday in a house in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

(Jonathan Brady/PA)

Colleagues of John Hunt have said they are “heartbroken” for the BBC Radio 5 Live racing commentator after three members of his family were killed in a crossbow attack.

His wife Carol Hunt, 61, and two of their daughters, Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, were found dead on Tuesday in a house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

A manhunt was launched for the suspect Kyle Clifford, 26, and he remains in hospital after he was found with injuries in Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, north London, Hertfordshire Police said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, journalist Mike Williams interrupted his sports update to speak about Mr Hunt’s loss.

He said: “Can I just echo your words from (Zoe) earlier in the show by sending all love, condolences and support to our much-loved BBC Sport colleague John Hunt after the unspeakable tragedy concerning his family that was in the news yesterday.

“John is a wonderful man and we of course send him all our love.”

Ball said earlier: “I must say, everyone at the BBC (is) heartbroken and deeply shocked at the news.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with John Hunt. Mark Chapman, his friend, paid (an) emotional tribute yesterday on BBC (Radio) 5 Live – we are holding you in our heart, John.”

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball

On Wednesday, before England beat the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 semi-final in Dortmund, Radio 5 Live commentator Chapman appeared to break down on air.

He said: “Good evening from Germany, we have a football match to bring you tonight and we will do, and we will start our build-up to it shortly.

“But this has been a heartbreaking day. John Hunt is our colleague and our friend, not just to the current 5 Live Sport team, but all of those who’ve worked here with him over the past 20 years.

“And also to all of you who have enjoyed his superb commentaries. So on behalf of everybody connected to 5 Live Sport, our love and thoughts and support our with John and his family.”

Sharing the clip of Chapman’s emotional speech, former BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker wrote on X: “The football was amazing last night and we are so blessed to have brilliant commentators in the UK.

“John Hunt is one of the best and his world was ripped apart yesterday when his wife and daughters were murdered.

“Mark Chapman knows himself how brutal life can be at times. Give yourself a moment to listen to how he introduced the football after the news about his colleague and friend had just been reported in the bulletin before he started.”

Chapman’s wife Sara died in 2020 after being diagnosed with cancer.

A BBC note sent to 5 Live staff on Wednesday said: “The news today about John Hunt’s family is utterly devastating.

“Our thoughts are with John and his family at this incredibly difficult time and we will provide him with all the support we can.”