Kristian Digby

Kristian Digby
Kristian Digby
Born 24 June 1977(1977-06-24)[1]
Torquay, Devon, England
Died 1 March 2010(2010-03-01) (aged 32)
Newham, London, England
Residence Newham, London
Nationality British
Ethnicity White British
Occupation Television presenter
Television director
Years active 1998–2010
Parents David Digby,[1]
Paula Dubois

Kristian Digby (pronounced /ˈkrɪstjən ˈdɪɡbi/; 24 June 1977 – 1 March 2010) was an English television presenter and director best known for presenting To Buy or Not to Buy on BBC One. On 1 March 2010 he was found dead in what police said were "unexplained circumstances".[2][3] On 9 November 2010, a coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.[4]


Early life

Digby was born Scott Kristian Edwin Digby[5] in Torquay, Devon[1] to parents who were property developers.[6][7] He attended Bramdean School in Exeter, where he battled with severe dyslexia.[4] He later presented a documentary for the BBC entitled Hiding the Truth: I Can't Read in which he returned to the school.[8][9] In 1997, Digby's film Words of Deception won him a Junior BAFTA.[10] The following year, his film Last Train to Demise, which featured actress and model Lucy Perkins, won the Melbourne Film Festival's Best Student Film award.[10]

Personal life

Digby was openly gay.[11] He claimed to have discovered his sexuality when he was studying for his degree in "Film, video and photographic arts" at the University of Westminster (1995 to 1998).[12] According to a friend, Digby had an eight-year relationship,[13] which had ended a year before.[citation needed]

Television career

Digby started his television presenting career for ITV presenting Nightlife. Prior to this he covered for LBC's TV critic Chris Stacey on LBC's evening shows, Sunday Night and One Night Strand.[10] At around the same time, he directed television programmes Homefront, Fantasy Rooms, She’s Gotta Have It which also featured actress and model Lucy Perkins, Girls On Top (Not be confused with the 1980s sitcom) and The O-Zone.[10] In 2001, Digby presented That Gay Show on BBC Choice.[14]

Beginning in 2003, Digby presented various programmes for the BBC, most notably To Buy or Not to Buy.[10] In addition, he has presented Uncharted Territory, Holiday, Trading Up, Living in the Sun and Open House.[10]

In 2006 he appeared in Simon Fanshawe's The Trouble with Gay Men and bemoaned the lack of gay role models, explaining how he refused to camp it up on TV, although he was known for his pole dancing skills excerpted on That Gay Show.[15] In the September 2006 edition of AXM he appeared nude for charity.

Digby presented the following morning TV BBC shows:

Open House - Along with his team, he made over properties that are not selling through the traditional estate agent route, after the make over they host an open house for possible buyers.

Buy It, Sell It, Bank It - The show follows two property developers at a property auction, the winner is followed for the rest of the show as he or she alters the house. The loser at the auction gives his or her thoughts of the improvements at the end of the show.

To Build or Not to Build - In 2008 Digby decided to build his own house, designed by Neu Architects.[16] The BBC decided to follow this and also draw in other people who have done something similar with Digby interviewing them. The premise is similar to Channel 4's Grand Designs, but on a smaller scale.

Charity work

Digby devoted a large amount of time to charity work. He supported both dyslexia charities,[4] as well as LGBT charities. Two charities he was involved with were The Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports homeless LGBT people and the Terrence Higgins Trust which supports people living with HIV and AIDS.[17] After Digby's death, Tim Sigsworth, chief executive of the Albert Kennedy Trust, said: ‘The young people cared for by the Trust were very close to Kristian’s heart. The money donated in honour of his memory will go towards the newly named ‘Kristian Digby Young Person of the Year Award’ which will be given out at the Albert Awards in London and Manchester. Donations will also directly improve the lives and life chances of young LGBT people who are facing homelessness after rejection by their families’.


Digby's partner, Jason Englebrecht, returned from Africa on 28 February, and tried to call Digby, but was unsuccessful in making contact or entering his home on Richford Road, Newham, London E15. On the morning of 1 March, Englebrecht called Digby's neighbour and tenant of a room in the main home that Digby owned, who entered the two-bedroom house that Digby had built and lived in. She found Digby dead on his bed at 7:45 am on 1 March 2010. An ambulance was called; paramedics declared him dead at the scene.[18][19][20] Digby's body was identified by his mother, Paula Dubois. Digby's post-mortem was held on 2 March 2010; the results were inconclusive.[21] The police are satisfied that there was no third-party involvement.[22][23][24]

An inquest opened on 4 March 2010 at Walthamstow Coroner's Court; both his parents attended. The inquest was adjourned later the same day.[25] It reopened in November 2010, where the police stated that Digby was found on his bed, wearing only his boxer shorts, as well as a plastic bag bin liner over his head. The body was found next to a canister of ethyl chloride, or "poppers", as it's known in the gay scene but no trace of it or other stimulants or alcohol were found in his blood stream. On 9 November 2010, the coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure,[26] commenting:[4]

There is no evidence to suggest Kristian was acting out a fantasy with any other person present at the time of his death. I have to conclude that Kristian has died as a result of an intended act, namely placing a plastic bag over his head as part of some sexual experimentation, but did not at any point believe or intend that should lead to his death.


  1. ^ a b c Guardian obituary
  2. ^ "TV Presenter Found Dead At His Flat". Sky News. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "TV presenter Kristian Digby found dead in London flat". BBC News. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Millionaire TV presenter Kristian Digby died accidentally 'when sex game went wrong'". Daily Mail. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  5. ^ Births England and Wales 1837-2006
  6. ^ "Digby, Kristian". British Film Institute. 
  7. ^ "Presenter biographies". BBC. 
  8. ^ BBC News, Tributes to 'much-loved' TV presenter Kristian Digby, 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  9. ^ The Daily Mirror, Kristian Digby dead: To Buy Or Not To Buy presenter's body found at flat, 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Kristian Digby". NCI Management Ltd. Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. [dead link]
  11. ^ BBC presenter Kristian Digby found dead in 'unexplained' circumstances
  12. ^ Katbamna, Mira (14 August 2008). "My first year: Nervous about starting university? Mira Katbamna asks a few people who've been there and done that for their best advice". The Observer. 
  13. ^ BBC presenter died 'as sex game went wrong': Colleague weeps as he lays a floral tribute
  14. ^ "TW:Kristian Digby". Rainbow Network. 7 October 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. 
  15. ^ Wells, Matt (11 November 2002). "BBC venture seeks to corner the gay market". The Observer. 
  16. ^ Hewitson, Jessie (August 2, 2009). "Kristian Digby: Here’s one I built earlier". The Sunday Times. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Jenkins, Russell (March 2, 2010). "TV presenter Kristian Digby died after 'solo sex game went wrong'". Times Online. 
  19. ^ Press Association (1 March 2010 D). "BBC television presenter Kristian Digby found dead: Circumstances of To Buy or Not to Buy presenter's death are 'unexplained', police say". The Observer. 
  20. ^ Press Association (2 March 2010). "Family shocked by TV host's 'sex game' death". The Independent. 
  21. ^ Family shocked by TV host Kristian Digby's 'sex game' death
  22. ^ Lloyd, Peter (2 March 2010). "UPDATE: Kristian Digby's post-mortem is "inconclusive"". Pink Paper. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  23. ^ Roberts, Laura (2 March 2010). "Kristian Digby, the BBC presenter, may have died in sex game gone wrong". The Telegraph. 
  24. ^ "Family shock over 'sex game' death". The Mirror. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  25. ^ "Mother's tears for TV Kristian Digby". The Express. March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  26. ^ "BBC TV presenter Kristian Digby's death 'misadventure'". BBC News. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 

External links

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