Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes died from a head injury, his family has confirmed.
They released a statement to the London Evening Standard “in order to end painful speculation.”
It confirmed Rhodes, who died aged 59, collapsed at his home in Dubai with a subdural hematoma, which is usually associated with a brain injury.
His death was widely reported on Wednesday, followed by some press speculation as to the cause.
The family statement read: “In order to end painful speculation surrounding the sudden passing of our beloved Gary Rhodes OBE, the Rhodes family can confirm that after a successful day shooting with Rock Oyster Media for ITV here in Dubai, Gary returned home in a very happy mood for a peaceful evening with his wife Jennie.
“After dinner, Gary unfortunately collapsed in their residence and was rushed to hospital but unfortunately passed away due to subdural hematoma.
“At this time, there are no other details and the family would again request privacy around this very tragic loss and again, thank friends and family for their ongoing support at this time.”
Rhodes, who ran two restaurants in Dubai, appeared on MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen and his own series Rhodes Around Britain.
He was also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008, in which he was partnered by professional dancer Karen Hardy.
In a message posted by her dance studio, Hardy said she was “truly speechless and lost for words”.
Speaking on Strictly spin-off show, It Takes Two, presenter Zoe Ball paid tribute to the late star, saying “our love and thoughts go out to Gary’s family and friends”.
Fellow chef Gordon Ramsay led the tributes to Rhodes on Wednesday, writing on Twitter: “We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map. Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids. You’ll be missed.”
Writing on Instagram, Jamie Oliver added: “Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking, he was a massive inspiration to me as a young chef. He re-imagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. rest in peace Chef.”