TV presenter arrested

A BBC children's TV presenter, whose co-star appeared in an Ipswich pantomime, has been arrested after his girlfriend died suddenly, it emerged today. Mark Speight was held at a central London police station.

A BBC children's television presenter, whose co-star appeared in an Ipswich pantomime, has been arrested after his girlfriend died suddenly, it emerged today.

Mark Speight was held at a central London police station.

His co-presenter on children's BBC show SMart is Kirsten O'Brien who appeared in the 2005 production of Peter Pan at Ipswich's Regent theatre.

Speight was arrested over the death of his girlfriend Natasha Collins yesterday. She was reportedly found dead in the bath.


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A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 13.20 on January 3 to reports of a sudden death of a woman at a residential address in London NW8, St John's Wood.

“The woman, aged in her 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course, details to be confirmed.

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“A man in his 40s was arrested at the scene. He has been bailed to return to a central London police station on a date in February.”

Speight and his girlfriend lived together. Ms Collins was also a presenter.

Hazel Clover, Regent manager, said Kirsten O'Brien appeared in the title role of Peter Pan opposite Brian Blessed.

She said: “This is shocking news. Kirsten was an absolute delight to work with and rightly proud of her television work. I am sure she is devastated by this news.”

Speight is best known for the BBC children's show SMart, which has run for more than 10 years.

He shot to fame as the rubber-faced presenter of Children's ITV Saturday morning show, Scratchy & Co.

Miss Collins starred alongside him on BBC children's show See It Saw It.

Clive Doig, managing director of independent TV production company Brechin, which made See It Saw It for three years from 1998, said Ms Collins was a “very good young actress”.

“She was one of the three main actors on the series. She was a very good young actress and she was a lot of fun working with us.

“She was See, a court jester to the king, played by Mark Speight. I'm shocked to hear of her death. It's terribly sad.”

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