Two Syrians have been arrested for the murder of popular British radio host Gavin Ford in Lebanon after they attempted to rob him, according to local newspaper Al Jadeed.
The defendants, one of whom was an acquaintance of Ford, confessed to killing the host at his home in Beit Mery several miles east of Beirut, where he was found dead on Tuesday.
Ford, 53, joined Radio One station in 1996,. According to the newspaper, he had been struck and strangled with his hands tied behind his back.
Radio One co-host Alain Bou Jaoude said Ford had not showed up for work on Monday, leading the station owner to alert Lebanon's Interal Security Forces of his disappearance following failed attempts to reach him.
Police said CCTV footage from Sunday evening showed Ford standing on a side road with a small group of men next to his car, which has since been reported missing.
A statement posted on Radio One's Facebook page said, "We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague Gavin Ford. The management and team express our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues. May his soul rest in peace.”
Tributes from fans of the loved radio host poured in on social media, with listener Anthony Merchak saying, “Mornings will never be the same without you. You always made my day with your humor and jokes and moans... You will be dearly missed.”
Another listener wrote, “Who can hurt such a beautiful soul? RIP.”
Guy Manoukian, a major shareholder of Virgin Radio Lebanon, posted a picture of Ford on Instagram, with the caption: “You changed the sound of radio in Lebanon, you created the morning show and you owned it day in day out, working with you these last few months was a pure pleasure and knowing you for the past 25 years was a blessing. You have left a huge void. May you rest in peace my friend.”
Chris Rampling, Britain's ambassador to Lebanon, said he was "shocked and deeply saddened” by the death of Ford.
"The thoughts of all at the embassy are with his family, friends and colleagues at this terribly difficult time," he tweeted.
In December last year, a British embassy worker was killed in Beirut after an Uber driver attempted to sexually assault her. He is due to stand trial for her murder.
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