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Mark Speight dead
April 13, 2008 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Children's TV host Mark Speight found dead in a remote part of Paddington station in London.
posted by auralcoral (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is so sad. I was really hoping that he was okay but it did start to look worse as the week went on.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:18 PM on April 13, 2008


I'm sure it's sad, although I don't know anything about this person.

What I did think was... odd? interesting? strange? new to me at least.... was that the coroner recorded the death of his girlfriend as "death by misadventure." I wonder if that's different than "accidental."
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:20 PM on April 13, 2008


I believe with "death by misadventure" rulings, there's a tinge of having put oneself into a risky situation. The same conclusion was given for the deaths of Bruce Lee, Bon Scott, and Brian Jones.
posted by dhartung at 12:30 PM on April 13, 2008


I'm a little confused, and I had no idea about any of the story until now, so maybe someone can offer some quick links before I go on a search.

The whole thing about his fiance's death seems odd. Boiling water? In a bathtub? Do they just mean to say that the water was exceedingly hot and she overdosed while in the bath and died in the over-hot water, thereby being burned? I didn't think you could get literally boiling water out of a faucet.

Were there any real suspicions that he had anything to do with her death? The idea is kind of introduced and dismissed in the same two sentences, and no one involved seems to think it could have been murder. I understand he may have supplied drugs, but the 'boiling water' line still makes it sound sinister. Halp?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:52 PM on April 13, 2008


Ah well, other reports are sticking with 'hot water burns'. I suppose it isn't necessarily something I ought to have got caught up on, but it made the story skip the line from 'sad' to 'suspicious' when such a leap wasn't necessary. Usually I like BBC news, but that article seems a little scattered.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:55 PM on April 13, 2008


I understand he may have supplied drugs, but the 'boiling water' line still makes it sound sinister. Halp?

Wikipedia
gives a good overview... the burns likely coming from passing out in the bath with the hot tap running.

Here's Mark in happier times creating some Islamic based religious art... first video I found when I heard the news earlier, seem appropriate somehow.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:06 PM on April 13, 2008


1800/1830: I'm confused by the article too. He wandered into a corner and died? How big is the station, that the body didn't turn up for a week? And the fiancee's death:

She suffered burns on 60% of her body from boiling water and had suffered a drugs overdose after taking cocaine, sleeping pills and alcohol. A coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure...

Was her tongue missing too?

On preview: thanks for ruining a good mystery, guys.
posted by lostburner at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2008


He wandered into a corner and died?

The Telegraph's website is reporting that he hung himself.

How big is the station

It's huge, one of London's main stations. I'm also kind of assuming, that unless he hid himself away real well, like down the track or something, he did it fairly recently.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:18 PM on April 13, 2008


How big is the station, that the body didn't turn up for a week?

Bloody huge. There's a series of semi-derelict outbuildings that continue for about half a mile along the track, plus all sorts of offices above it. It wouldn't be hard to find a dark corner.
posted by cillit bang at 1:23 PM on April 13, 2008


This is very sad. I used to love watching SMart when I was a kid. Seems amazing to think that the guy had been around for 20 years and was still making popular art programmes until recently.

It'll be interesting to see how Newsround (news show for kids) deals with the story tomorrow.
posted by afx237vi at 1:44 PM on April 13, 2008


.

I am sad about this. He was the reason I obsessively watched SMart when I was a kid and really into drawing and painting. Funny guy, great TV personality. Wish something or someone could have intervened, everyone seemed aware that he was very deeply disturbed by what had happened to his fiancee. I hope he's at peace now.
posted by saturnine at 2:03 PM on April 13, 2008


six-or-six-thirty: At the time of the original investigation, there was heavy suspicion by the police that he was involved in her death - she did die in suspicious circumstances in their flat, after all. Once it was found that she died of a drug overdose, and he was determined not to have supplied them (or it couldn't be proved he did, anyway) he was let go after a couple of days or so without charge.

Some people still think he was involved in her death, though generally the press have been going easy on him lately. By all accounts, he loved her very much, and took her death, and the suspicions of his involvement in it very hard. I remember SMart, and he was a talented children's presenter.

A personal tragedy for him, and both their families. Hopefully the media will let it go after this.

Oh, and paddington? It was built in 1854 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as the terminus for his Great Western Railway serving pretty much everywhere west of london. It's been through many changes, and there's whole sections of derelict underground tunnels and warehouses. He went missing just under a week ago, last monday.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:58 PM on April 13, 2008


The whole thing about his fiance's death seems odd. Boiling water? In a bathtub?

The BBC article does use the term "boiling water." Other reports use "scalding water."

Yes -- tap/bath water can indeed get to dangerous temperatures, especially when "drawn" by one who may not be in control of his/her "full faculties."
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on April 13, 2008


Paddington Station.
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on April 13, 2008


I have my suspicions about who was behind this.
posted by dhammond at 5:08 PM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine died in a similar manner to his girlfriend.

She (my friend) had taken a lot of prescription drugs and had burns on her body from the running hot water in her tub.
posted by D.C. at 5:55 PM on April 13, 2008


.

How terrible.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:25 PM on April 13, 2008


'boiling water'

Tap water in the UK can be extremely hot. I put it down to people not wanting to wait for their tea and being willing to suffer scalding incidents for that speed.
posted by srboisvert at 4:33 AM on April 14, 2008


This was very sad news to hear, I grew up with programmes like SMart as well as others he appeared in, and he was always the most likeable presenter. Joking around, but not embarassing or patronising like so many other presenters. Not to mention a very talented artist, and one who only hoped to pass that on to children. How many artists can say they did that? I does not come as a surprise that he would have lived a wild lifestyle, even in his 40s, but no one asks for such tragedy. I suspect, if he had nothing to do with the death of his wife, that he might have been destroyed by the possibility of being a 'bad example' to all the kids that adored him. I just hope he doesn't get any undeserved vitriol for being into drugs, like so many others.
posted by Acey at 4:54 AM on April 14, 2008


The media says he was found in the roofspace of MacMillan House, which is the office building on the left side of the station if you're on the concourse facing the platforms.
posted by cillit bang at 7:40 AM on April 14, 2008


and took her death, and the suspicions of his involvement in it very hard.

That's my read as well. I didn't know anything about the guy, but based on what I'm reading here, it sounds like she died, and as a result, he slowly fell apart, eventually culminating in his death.

Sad.
posted by quin at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2008


I just hope he doesn't get any undeserved vitriol for being into drugs, like so many others.

Your optimism about the British media is likely to be misplaced.
posted by imperium at 11:23 AM on April 14, 2008


Either the Russian secret service were involved, or this is a succession of tragic events. Having a bath to relax can be quite dangerous when you are actually very tired but stressed for some reason.

Condolences to both their families.

.
posted by asok at 7:56 AM on April 15, 2008


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