A daytime TV presenter died when a solo sex game went wrong, police believe. Kristian Digby, host of BBC1's To Buy Or Not To Buy, is thought to have accidentally suffocated while attempting auto-erotic asphyxiation.

The extremely dangerous practice, in which participants deliberately starve themselves of oxygen apparently to increase sexual pleasure, also cost rock star Michael Hutchence his life. It is said that masks, ligatures or even plastic bags can be used to achieve the desired effect.

Mr Digby, 32, was found dead at his home in Newham, East London, after an ambulance crew was called shortly before 8am on Monday. It is understood police discovered a belt and plastic bag near his body. A post mortem examination proved inconclusive yesterday.

Officially, police are treating the circumstances of the millionaire's death as 'unexplained' and further tests are taking place. But behind the scenes officers are in little doubt Mr Digby died as a result of the notorious sex game.

Mark Bryenton, who lived next door to the star, said he saw Mr Digby going into the house with another man on Sunday afternoon. The 30-year-old builder said: 'They were holding hands and looked happy together.

'I think it was his boyfriend. I had seen him before. He was tall with dark hair and looked about the same age as Kristian.'

It is thought Mr Digby's body was found by a close friend, but further information has not been released. The BBC presenter was a successful developer who built his East London home himself.

His property programmes included Living In The Sun, House Swap and Buy It, Sell It, Bank It. Colleagues and friends last night described him as a 'lovely guy'. Fellow presenter Julian Bennett wept as he laid flowers at Mr Digby's home.

He said his friend had been in an eight-year relationship, adding: 'I fell in love with Kristian the first time I met him. Unfortunately he had a partner so we just became good friends. I can't believe he has gone.'

Mr Digby's mother Paula Dubois, 60, was being comforted at the family home in Torquay.

She said: 'I don't want to talk about it. There are some lovely tributes being left. I do not want to add anything else.'

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