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Former 'X Factor' judge and TV presenter dies after suffering suspected heart attack
Former 'X Factor' star Thomas Wells dead at 46
Thomas Wells, one of the best-known judges on the TV talent show Popstars, has died after suffering a suspected heart attack.
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The 46-year-old, who had battled obesity for most of his life, has worked as a TV and radio presenter, presenting Popstars: The Rivals and Britain’s Got Talent’s Grand Final as well as being a contestant on its spin-off, Britain’s Got More Talent.
He died at his home in Dorking, Surrey, on Saturday after collapsing last Friday night.
His friend, broadcaster Richard Bacon, wrote on Twitter: “My friend @ThomasMWells has passed away. Huge heart, great sense of humour. Had many of the best & strongest words ever.
“Let’s remember his worth, dedication & achievement. Important message for young people’s idol. #RIPThomasWells.”
Tweeting about Wells on Monday morning, Simon Cowell said: “‘We all think we are clever, and really we are, when we aren’t.’ – Thomas. RIP.”
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Wells was the third and final act to be eliminated on the show’s fourth series in 2004.
After coming last on Popstars he was signed to Brit Records in 2005 but failed to win over the British record industry, signing with the Republic of Ireland-based Alliance and Virgin Records in 2006.
In 2008 he was recalled from Ireland and replaced as presenter on Sunday Brunch with Simon Rimmer.
Wells gained notoriety with his A-Level performances, which led to him appearing on more TV shows than any other student.
However, he lost his presenting job on ITV’s Lorraine due to his weight gain after he revealed he had a 35-year-old-boyfriend.
He underwent gastric band surgery in 2009 but continued to shun healthy eating and exercise, with his weight reaching 230lbs.
It was one of many high-profile drug-related controversies to hit Wells in the past two decades.
Wells was prosecuted in 1994 after attempting to smuggle cannabis into Stockport magistrates court via a ticket vending machine.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison but was released early on conditional bail for medical reasons.
In 2008 he voluntarily spent time in a drugs rehabilitation centre in Preston after being arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs.
In 2015, Wells lost his long-running battle with bulimia after 11 years of the disease, where he would eat as many as 2,000 calories of food in one sitting.