Gary Rhodes told friends ‘life couldn’t be better’ days before death

Chef Vineet Bhatia said he saw Gary at his restaurant to film the star’s new series last week. He said: “I remember him telling me ‘life couldn’t be better’. He was very fit and healthy and this is such a great shock.” Gary’s death was reported on Wednesday and it was speculated that the MasterChef, Ready Steady Cook and Hell’s Kitchen star had slipped in the shower.

A statement from his family said he had returned home “in a very happy mood for a peaceful evening with his wife Jennie”.

It added: “After dinner, Gary collapsed and was rushed to hospital but passed away due to subdural haematoma.”

A subdural haematoma is usually caused by a head injury. 

Actress Natasha Richardson died after a similar type of bleed in 2009 following a skiing accident.

Rhodes’s brother Chris yesterday paid an emotional tribute, saying: “We all need to show more love to one another and hold our loved ones just a little tighter.”

Fellow chefs including Jamie Oliver, Prue Leith, Gordon Ramsay and Ainsley Harriott also praised him. 

Jamie Oliver – who initially posted that he died in a “tragic fall” before deleting the message – said: “Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking.”

Gordon Ramsay said: “He put British cuisine on the map.”

And Ainsley Harriott said Rhodes “was the first to make cookery the new rock ‘n’ roll”.

Grosvenor House Dubai said Michelin-starred Rhodes was working “until the day he died”.

The father-of-two, who went to Dubai in 2007, competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.

Rock Oyster Media and Goldfinch TV, working on his new series, said they were “devastated”. 

A statement added: “Gary was taken ill suddenly at home.”

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