Holby City’s John Michie drove to Bestival to see daughter
This is the secluded woodland at Bestival frequented by drug users where the daughter of Holby City star John Michie was found dead on her 25th birthday.
Mr Michie’s ‘world has been shattered’ by Louella Michie’s sudden death but he believes she was not murdered and it was a ‘tragic accident’.
Her father drove 130-miles from London to the Dorset site yesterday morning after being sent a WhatsApp map locating her in an area where festivalgoers had been going to take drugs in secret.
Police have arrested a 28-year-old man, believed to be an ex-boyfriend, on suspicion of murder and dealing Class A drugs after the dancer and model was found dead in isolated woodland on the edge of the family-friendly music festival in Dorset at 1am yesterday.
A post-mortem examination showed ‘no clear signs’ of an assault on Louella’s body but tests showing if she had taken any illegal substances have not yet returned. A friend claimed today she had been an infrequent user of drugs.
Her actor father and his wife Carol, 60, drove from their London home to the site having reportedly received a panicked phone call and a WhatsApp map pinpointing her location from the friend now believed to be in custody.
A family source told MailOnline today: ‘No one can quite believe that Louella has gone. John and the family are struggling and are in tears. John said his world has been shattered. The whole family feel that way.’
A DJ who played Bestival said today Louella died in a secluded area where festival-goers had been sneaking off to take drugs because there was a ‘lack’ of security.
A police officer guards the taped-off area of the Bestival site where Louella Mitchie was found dead – a DJ said today that festival-goers had used the area to take drugs because security was less concentrated there
Miss Michie (left and rightr) was found dead in a wooded area of Bestival music festival, in Dorset less than an hour after turning 25
John Michie and daughters Louella, left, and Daisy, right, arrive at Banqueting House in London for Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl Gala Dinner 2014
Louella was found in the circled area of forest on the edge of the Bestival site yesterday after she was reported missing to police
Michie is best known as playing Rovers Return landlord Karl Munro where he had the distinction of burning down the street’s favourite pub
The family friend told MailOnline he could not confirm claims she died after taking drugs but said: ‘The family all think it is an accidental death’, another friend who arrived at the family home in north London to leave flowers today said: ‘She never really did drugs’.
The 28-year-old remains in custody today and Dorset Police has been given longer to question the suspect.
An initial post-mortem examination took place last night and Louella’s body showed ‘no clear signs’ of an assault.
Paying tribute to Louella, her father described her as ‘so very positive, so bright, so out there’
But toxicology tests taken to find if she had taken drugs will take a few more weeks, the force said.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire said: ‘Detectives are working tirelessly to investigate the full circumstances surrounding this tragic death.
‘A post mortem examination took place that was inconclusive and therefore we need to undertake a number of other examinations before we can establish why she died.
‘The 28-year-old man arrested is in addition [to murder] being interviewed on suspicion of supply of a controlled drug. He remains in custody today under caution in order to assist officers with the investigation. He was known to Louella’.
Last Friday, the first night of the festival, Dorset Police had warned people about rogue pale blue ecstasy pills that were in circulation at Bestival and asked anyone who came across them to dispose of them.
A DJ who performed at Bestival claimed security manning the area near to where Louella’s body was found was ‘woefully understaffed’ on the night.
Philip Hutchinson, whose stage name is DJ GG, said the presence of more security guards by the path close to the Ambient Forest area of Bestival could have prevented someone from going there to do drugs.
Mr Hutchinson, 47, from Guildford, Surrey, said: ‘I finished my DJ set and went back to the camp site.
‘A policeman with a torch was there looking in tents. They said they were investigating a missing person and that we would find out all about it in the morning.
‘Clearly it was a lot more important than just a missing person. We later saw two policemen milling around in the brambles behind our campsite with torches and that was the area where the police cordon was in the morning.
‘We thought it couldn’t have been a murder because there were only three policemen there. There were no people in white forensic suits and a forensic tent.
‘I am sure people were going there to do drugs. We thought the security was woefully understaffed. More security guards in the area potentially may have deterred them but I don’t think they would have been able to prevent two people wandering from a path going to take drugs in the woods.’
Louella, was the youngest daughter of Mr Michie and Carol Fletcher, who was previously a dancer for television troupe Hot Gossip. Police are trying to establish if she died after taking drugs
Footage has emerged of fun-loving Louella doing the ice bucket challenge with her friends
Last night her father posted this picture of his daughter’s bedroom as she left it before heading off to Bestival
Michie posted a heartbreaking picture of his daughter excitedly sewing her outfit for Bestival days to his Instagram account on Wednesday
Miss Michie is believed to have been found dead in the Ambient Forest area of the music festival (pictured)
Yesterday Mr Michie posted a picture of what is believed to be his daughter’s bedroom as she left it before she died.
Police began looking for her when friends said she had disappeared after watching the Pet Shop Boys on Sunday night at Bestival, held on the Lulworth Estate on the Jurassic Coast.
Police remain at the Bestival site today as they continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding her sudden death
Her parents arrived and were refused entry to the site by security but Louella’s fully clothed body was found and a 28-year-old man known to her was arrested at the scene.
The 60-year-old actor, who is back in London, can’t stop crying when as he tries to console his wife Carol and two other children, a friend said.
Mr Michie, who played lovable rogue Karl Munro in Corrie and is CEO Guy Self in Holby City, now faces the traumatic ordeal today of identifying his 25 year old daughter.
A family source told MailOnline: ‘It is just unreal. Louella’s brother and sister are in absolute pieces but they all think it is an accidental death.’
Police in Dorset have arrested a 28 year old man on suspicion of murder – but the Mitchie family believe he is innocent and do not believe the dancer was the victim of murder.
‘They don’t for one minute believe that it was murder. The police have to do their job but the family fully expect him to be released. This was an accidental death and there was no murder,’ said a family friend.
He was unable to comment on reports that Louella could have died from an accidental drug overdose. The man arrested was found by her body.
‘From what we have been told he was with her and was trying to help her. We know the police have to make sure and they only reason they arrested him on suspicion of murder was because he was with the body,’ said the friend.
The family friend said Michie will travel to Dorset today from his North London home to identify and collect his daughter’s body.
The man arrested by police at the Bestival music festival on the Lulworth Estate, Dorset, is believed to be a former boyfriend of Louella.
‘They were in a relationship, then broke up but remained good friends. He is known and liked by the family,’ said the source.
‘He is a nice guy and the family expect him to be released soon once the police have completed their inquiries. ‘
Woman for all seasons: Pictures from her Instagram account she her on summer travels (left) and on a snowboarding break (right)
Louella pictured having fun on London Bridge, with Tower Bridge visible behind her
(Left to right) Sam, Daisy and John Michie, Carol Fletcher and Louella Michie Celebrities arrive at David Gest’s Celebrity Dinner Party at the Tower Hilton on Tooley Street, London, in April 2015
Her father had posted a heartbreaking picture of her excitedly sewing her outfit to his Instagram account on Wednesday, with the caption ‘Sewing for Bestival’.
Mr Michie told The Sun last night: ‘We’ve lost our angel. It’s not murder – they were friends.
‘It was just a tragic mistake, a tragic accident. She touched so many lives. She was so very positive, so bright. She had such energy. The tributes to her have been incredible.’
A source told newspaper her death could be linked to an unknown substance, which was ‘too powerful’.
Actor Richard Wilson, a close family friend of Mr Michie and godfather to Ms Michie, released a statement following news of her death.
‘Richard Wilson, Louella’s godfather, was very, very attached to her and does not feel able to comment at this present time,’ he said.
Mr Michie and Mr Wilson are believed to have first met on the set of period drama film A Passage To India in 1984.
At around 10.15am this morning Mr Michie, 60, his wife Carol, 60, were seen packing a blue MG estate before driving away, with two other men in the rear passenger seats.
One family friend, who this morning dropped off flowers and wished not to be named, said: ‘The family are too cut up to talk.
‘He just wants to make it clear there is no suggestion of murder, at all. He wants to make that crystal clear.
‘He also wants people to know she was a happy vibrant girl. She never really did drugs.
‘It’s just an accident, he’s clear about that, I think the whole family are clear about that.
‘They’re really lovely family, lovely neighbours, best neighbours you could possibly want.
‘I’ve known them for 25 years since they were kids, they have never been in any trouble. Just a lovely lovely family.’
The 25-year-old was an avid supporter of Arsenal Football Club (pictured alongside a fellow Gunners fan)
Her social media profiles show her attending Glastonbury (left) and a string of other festivals and trendy gigs over the summer including Wilderness in Oxfordshire
Louella’s friends have left tributes to the much-loved 25-year-old on social media today
Chizzy Akudolu, who starred alongside Louella’s father in Holby City and is on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, posted this message on Twitter
Last night they were being comforted by friends at their north London home.
The alarm was raised at the festival shortly before 1am yesterday when Miss Michie disappeared shortly after the headline set by the Pet Shop Boys.
On-site police were alerted and her body was found on the edge of the site, which covers hundreds of acres close to the tourist landmark Durdle Door.
Yesterday, the woodland where her body was found had been cordoned off and forensic officers were combing the site.
Michie is best known as playing Rovers Return landlord Karl Munro where he had the distinction of burning down the street’s favourite pub in one of the soap’s most gripping storylines.
He also starred in Taggart playing DI Robbie Ross for 12 years, and is currently playing neurosurgeon Guy Self in BBC’s medical drama Holby City.
The 60-year-old has two other children, Daisy, 27, a stylist, and Sam, 26, a music video director.
Arsenal football fan Louella, the youngest of his three children, worked as a dancer and lived in north London.
Louella, whose godfather was One Foot In The Grave Star Richard Wilson, was able to perform an array of dance styles
As well as her celebrity parents, Louella leaves behind older siblings Daisy and Sam
Arsenal football fan Louella (pictured at a Halloween party), the youngest of his three children, worked as a dancer and also lived in North London
Her mother, Carol Fletcher, who was previously a dancer for television troupe Hot Gossip and Pan’s People (middle in right picture)
She inherited her expert dance ability from her mother and was represented by the Mass Movement agency.
Louella, whose godfather was One Foot In The Grave Star Richard Wilson, was able to perform ballet, bellydance, Bollywood, breakdancing, contemporary, disco, folk, jazz, rock and roll, salsa, swing, tango and tap genres.
She also worked as a model where her long blonde hair, green eyes and petite frame – a size eight – were much in demand through The Eye Casting.
Chriss and Tiffany Campbell-Welch, the directors of Tiffany Theatre College, paid tribute to former student Ms Michie.
‘Louella was a very gifted student, a beautiful young lady with a sweet soul who was well loved by everyone, peers and mentors alike,’ they said.
‘She had a wonderful ability to light up the room with her smile and make everyone feel happy.’
On Monday the organisers of Bestival said they were ‘devastated’ following news of the death.
‘We continue to support the police in their ongoing investigation and our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman’s family and friends,’ they added.
She is understood to have worked for House of Voga, in London, where she led fitness classes.
Voga is a fusion of Yoga and Voguing, fitness and fashion, set to an 80s House beat and designed to empower, tone, get fit and stay flexible.
Last night her Instagram page, Voga Louella @houseofvogalondon, had been taken down.
Chizzy Akudolu, who starred alongside Louella’s father in Holby City and is on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, posted a message on Twitter in support of her former colleague.
She also worked as a model where her long blonde hair, green eyes and petite frame, a size eight, were much in demand through The Eye Casting
She inherited her expert dance ability from her mother and was represented by the Mass Movement agency
Her father (pictured left, on the Alan Titchmarsh Show in 2014 and right, on Loose Women in the same year) has also appeared in Taggart and Casualty
She said: ‘A good mate just lost his daughter. I can’t imagine what he and his family are going through. Life man. Tell someone you love them. Do it now’.
In an earlier statement, his agent said: ‘Sadly, I can confirm the tragic death of John Michie’s daughter, Louella, at Bestival.
‘John and his wife Carol ask that the privacy of their family be respected at this traumatic time.’
Michie and Carol met when she did the choreography and John did the dancing and ate the crisps in a Walkers advert nearly 30 years ago.
He said: ‘I thought she was stunning and, when I found out she was in Hot Gossip, I thought, ‘Oh my God’.
‘I made sure I sat beside her at lunch and got her number.
She is understood to have worked for House of Voga, in London, where she led fitness classes
‘I told her I was organising a night at a rock ‘n’ roll club in London and asked her if she’d be interested since she was into dance. She said, ‘Yes’, and a few days later I called her.’
In an interview in 2012, John told how he and Carol never married because they were too busy bringing up their children.
Mr Michie also told how his daughter Louella was born when he was acting in Mr Wilson’s play Women Laughing in 1992.
His wife Carol went into labour at midday, with the show due to begin at 7.30pm, and the actor was eventually phoned to ask where he was as the audience had arrived.
‘I had to say, ‘I’m really sorry but my wife is about to give birth – can you hold the house for half an hour because I’m sure I’ll make it?’,’ he told the Daily Record.
‘It was an awful situation and she was saying, ‘Don’t you dare leave me. You’re not leaving me on my own’. So I didn’t.
‘Richard went out as only he could and explained to the audience what had happened.’
All three were in show business – Daisy is a dancer, Sam went to film school and makes his own promos with rapper friends, while Louella also attended the Tiffany Theatre College.
Officers were called to the site just before 1am on Monday to reports revellers were concerned for the welfare of the 25-year-old.
Dorset Police said the arrest was ‘to enable officers to conduct an interview under caution to help establish the full circumstances’.
Some 30,000 revellers descended on the site for the four-day event but forensic officers were working at the scene as the festival came to a close and a cordon remains in place.
A spokesman for the event said the matter was currently being dealt with by Dorset Police.
Bestival Police last week issued a warning about a rogue batch of tablets found on the festival site, but drugs have not been linked to Louella’s death.
Officers tweeted a photo of a tablet and urged festival goers to dispose of them as they contained ‘unknown chemicals’.
‘We are working closely with the festival organisers and I would appeal to anyone with any information about the incident to contact Dorset Police.’
Some 30,000 revellers descended on the site for the four-day event but forensic officers were working at the scene as the festival came to a close and a cordon remains in place
Police said the body of the woman, who had attended Bestival, was found in a wooded area of the festival site in Lulworth, Dorset
A force spokesman said the woman’s family had been informed and the coroner had been notified of her death.
In a statement, Bestival said: ‘Following today’s news announcement, the team at Bestival are devastated to hear about this tragic news.
‘We continue to support the police in their ongoing investigation and our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman’s family and friends.’
Last year, organisers announced Bestival would be moved from the Isle of Wight, where it was previously held, to the Dorset site.
The line-up this year included The XX, Dizzee Rascal, Rag’n’Bone Man, Pet Shop Boys, Wiley and Laura Mvula.
On Sunday, festival organisers were forced to close the main arena, the Castle Stage and Ambient Forest due to high winds.
Bestival began in 2004 on the Isle of Wight and only switched to Lulworth this year.
Around 30,000 festival-goers paid up to £195 each for four days of music from acts such as The XX, Dizzee Rascal and Laura Mvula.
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