BBC star and restaurateur Russell Norman’s cause of death confirmed

BBC star and restaurateur Russell Norman’s cause of death confirmed

Russell Norman’s cause of death has been confirmed (Picture: Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images)

Celebrity chef Russell Norman’s cause of death has been confirmed after he died on November 23 at the age of 57.

The BBC star – who appeared on Saturday Kitchen – died from suicide by hanging, an inquest has heard.

Norman was rushed to hospital on November 18 after being found in the garden of his home in Kent.

His girlfriend and medical staff attempted to do CPR on him, but he died five days later surrounded by his family and friends.

He suffered severe brain damage.

The inquest was held at Oakwood House in Maidstone on Friday (February 10).

The restaurateur died after five days on end-of-life care (Picture: BBC/Twenty Twenty Productions LTD/Fiona Hanson)

In a statement read by Coroner Katrina Hepburn, Dr Genevieve Verdigel, an art historian, told how she discovered Norman lying unconscious in the garden.

‘I ran back inside to call 999. I was trying to do CPR. I was screaming and the people next door came round,’ she said.

A pulse was detected during resuscitation attempts and Norman was dashed to William Harvey Hospital in nearby Ashford.

However, sadly, doctors placed him on end-of-life care due to the damage to his brain.

His inquest heard he had been displaying ‘suicidal tendencies’ before his death.

Following the inquest, Dr Verdigel shared a picture on her Instagram page with a lengthy caption.

His heartbroken girlfriend, Genevieve Verdigel, wrote a lengthy tribute following the inquest (Picture: Instagram)

Alongside the smiley photo of herself and Norman, she penned: ‘Isn’t it odd how the epilogue is often the part of a novel that provides the most clarity. The passages that all wish they could have flicked forward to without having to read the prose in between.

‘Well, the epilogue here is a simple one. Because Russell wrote it himself: ‘Always keep your counsel. (And) Trust yourself because no-one else will.

‘To enter into a soliloquy on what Russell meant to me, what a character he was, or what I learnt from him, would be banal. Those words have already been said, written and published by others. I won’t talk about the torture I have undergone at the hands of brutes; those who need to know already know. And I have no intent to add words to that noise.

‘When all is said and done, what you come to realise are the most important words are those that remain, and will remain, a conversation between two people and to which the rest of the world will never be privy.

‘And, at the end of the day, is that not the most important thing about the spoken word… it can never be emulated nor replicated. It is a moment in time. And once it is gone it is gone. Like a candle, eradicated in a puff of smoke. Yet the smoking tendrils remain.’

He hanged himself and was found in his garden at home in Kent (Picture: BBC/Twenty Twenty Productions LTD/Fiona Hanson)

Norman’s death was originally announced with a statement.

Richard Beatty confirmed late last year: ‘It is with the greatest sadness I announce the loss of my best friend Russell Norman.

‘After a short battle in hospital, he died surrounded by family and friends.

‘Russell is survived by his wife and three children, and I ask that you respect the privacy of his family, friends, and colleagues at this time.’

Following Norman’s unexpected death, social media was flooded with tributes from admirers of his work and TV co-stars.

Former Saturday Kitchen host James Martin hailed him as a ‘giant’ of the restaurant world.

Tributes poured in following Norman’s death, with TV stars praising him as a ‘giant’ of the restaurant world (Picture: Michael Bowles/REX/Shutterstock)

Restaurant critic Jay Rayner described the late star as ‘one of the most gifted of restaurateurs’.

‘So sorry to hear of the death, far too young, of Russell Norman,’ he shared.

‘He was one of the most gifted of restaurateurs, a terrific writer and an awful lot of fun to be around.

‘He very much lived life his own way. My thoughts are with his family and friends.’

The beloved chef died just weeks after his fourth cookbook was published.

He rose to prominence in 2012 when he won an award for his first cookbook, Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts).

Norman started his own chain of restaurants and was also known for his cookbooks (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images for CODE Hospitality)

Norman went on to start the Polpl chain of restaurants, as well as spin-offs Spuntino and Polpetto. He founded the chain alongside business partner Beatty.

He was renowned for spearheading the ‘small plates’ and no reservations movements at his restaurants.

As for his TV work, in 2014 Norman also presented The Restaurant Man, a six-part documentary for BBC Two, alongside his daytime show appearances.

Need support?

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

If you’re a young person, or concerned about a young person, you can also contact PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide UK. Their HOPELINK digital support platform is open 24/7, or you can call 0800 068 4141, text 07860039967 or email: between the hours of 9am and midnight.

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