Dubai - Gary Rhodes said "life couldn’t be better" days before he died from a brain injury, a close friend revealed on Thursday.
The celebrity chef collapsed at his home in Dubai after enjoying a quiet dinner with his wife Jennie.
He had returned home in a "happy mood" following a successful day of filming a new ITV series. The 59-year-old, described as "fit and healthy" by friends, was taken to hospital where he died on Tuesday night from a bleed to the brain, known as a subdural haematoma, with Jennie by his side.
Friend and fellow chef Vineet Bhatia said Rhodes was "full of energy and life" when they last saw each other at the weekend. Bhatia said: "He came to my restaurant here in Dubai to do some filming. Gary was his usual bright and happy self when I last saw him a couple of days before he died and it’s hard to believe I’ll never see him smile again.
"He was in such good spirits. His last words to me were: 'Life couldn’t be better.' His older son Sam was with him when we were together and he seemed to be on top form. There was absolutely no sign of what was to come and I still can’t take it in."