On this day two years ago, Celebrity Big Brother’s Heavy D – real name Colin Newell – suddenly passed away, leaving the world of showbiz bereft.
The gregarious telly personality, who shot to fame after starring in Storage Hunters, was also known to fans as “The Boominator” due to his trademark “boom!” every time he sealed a deal on the show.
Colin was only 47 when he died.
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His biggest claim to fame was featuring in series 18 of Celebrity Big Brother alongside Stephen Bear, Marnie Simpson and Lewis Bloor.
Colin was evicted on day 20 and before joining the house joked that he would describe himself as “quiet, timid and reserved”. Fans will recall he was anything but.
Colin was found dead in his north London home by his brother Patrick a few weeks after “going missing”.
An avid social media follower, fans and family were concerned after Colin’s Twitter went silent for a few weeks so one of his five siblings, Patrick, went to check on him.
He peered in the window of his brother’s Enfield home and saw him dead on the floor – it is believed Colin may have been there for a few days.
His death was announced on Twitter by his friend actor Nick Nevern who posted: “I’m very shocked & saddened to hear of the passing of my friend @HeavyHeavyd.
“You lived ur life the way u wanted to & f***anyone who didn’t like it! U always brought a smile to my face bro & lifted any room you were in.”
Colin had a daughter, Rory, now three, with his ex-fiance Bryony Harris. She also expressed her grief on Twitter, saying “rest in peace you silly thing”.
She added: "I loved this man we argued we hated each other but we had love at one point and a beautiful daughter.
"Now time to myself please guys no messages."
Colin’s cause of death was a heart attack.
The last person to see him was his mate Lorna Onabanjo. The pair enjoyed a night of karaoke and Monopoly and she tried to cheer him up after he confessed to “feeling down”.
“He went home and no one ever heard of him again,” she added.
At the time, when COVID was still relatively unknown, rumours abounded that the virus was linked to his death.
The lead up
Colin, who also worked as a cabbie and a market stall salesman, was said to have been “struggling” through lockdown as he had very little to do.
His time previously was spent doing a lot of charity work so when restrictions were imposed it “wasn’t easy for him”, said his brother Patrick.
"Especially for someone in a quite precarious and shallow career”, he added.
However, Colin, who weighed 23 stone, had employed a personal trainer before his death and was “on a real mission to improve his health”.
His PT Matt Fiddes said: "He was making amazing progress.
“Getting into boxing and eating clean. And training so hard.”
Colin was also due to appear in a Vinnie Jones film, Rise of the Footsoldier.
According to a pal, Colin was “down” because some former friends had “come out of the woodwork” when they heard he would be in a film with the former footballer come hardman.
Colin, who also appeared in an episode of Judge Rinder over a rental dispute, was also feeling a bit vulnerable because even though he had a big break with the Vinnie film, he was unsure what he would do next for work.
The pal added: “He also didn't know what his next project was going to be so it was a come down after all the hype and excitement.
“On the one hand, he felt he had really smashed it in the part he was given and Vinnie Jones told him he was great, but he was down about not knowing what was going to come next.”
RIP Heavy D.
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