A Come Dine With Me contestant was found dead in his bedroom by his brother, an inquest has heard.

Nicholas Blything, 36, died on 15 June last year at his home in Chester.

An inquest confirmed that the star had taken his own life and was found by his brother Richard at home.

A Cheshire Police statement from Detective Sergeant Paul Davies, read out by area coroner Claire Welch, said: "Nicholas' brother Richard Blything had attempted to speak to him after his sister had raised concerns that Nicholas had not been in touch. It was Richard who found him and provided police with the formal identification.

"He had entered the property without the need of the key because it was unlocked and he had been around to see neighbours, who had a spare key. As he entered he couldn't hear the dog barking, which was unusual, and he found his brother in the top bedroom."

Nicholas was said to have been struggling with mental health problems for "a number of years".

He had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act two months before his death, reportedly telling a friend that he "might as well throw himself off a cliff".

A statement from his brother Richard Blything, read out by the coroner, said: "In recent months, subsequent to the incident in April and being sectioned by the mental health team, he had been depressed and anxious about his future. But once he started on anti-depressants, his mood had lifted.

"Richard was asked by the mental health team if he thought Nicholas would take his own life, to which he said 'no' because he genuinely never felt he would. In the days before he passed away, he was very buoyant.

"He collected the dog from his parents, collected plants for his garden, had been mowing his lawn, cleaning his home, sorting out his food shop, said he had a good weekend and that he was going to catch up with him (Richard) in the week. Richard said that it sounded like his brother was 'coming back to the best he had heard him for years'."

Come Dine With Me paid tribute to Nicholas last year, with a number of fans posting their own tributes to him in response.

One person posted: "I am so sorry to read the sad news of your passing. You threw yourself in 100 % to Come Dine with Me and I can only imagine you lived your life that way."

Another viewer wrote: "Rest in peace Nicholas… just watched you on CDWM with my 16-year-old son, so sad to read the end message… we thought you were brilliant and hoped you would win. Sending thoughts and prayers to your family and friends."

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.

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