Tributes paid to man found dead on Broadchurch beach

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Tributes have been paid to a man who was found dead on a Dorset beach on Sunday.

Musician Derek Smith's body was discovered at the bottom of cliffs at West Bay, and locals have now been paying tribute to him.

He performed across Dorset, as well as nationally and internationally, under the name the Amazing Mr Smith. He was known for playing the acoustic guitar, as well as his own inventions, including the cardboard tube double bass and the musical shoelaces.

Simon Mazzei, of the Olive Tree restaurant in East Street where Mr Smith regularly performed, told the Bournemouth Echo. "Derek was a talented guitarist and has been part of our evening entertainment for many years.

"Most of all, we'll miss his eccentric sense of humour. His rendition of "Mull of Kintyre" on homemade bagpipes still makes me giggle."

Geraldine Baker, of the Ropemakers pub, added: "He was an amazing man and his stage shows were just hilarious.

"It was all very eclectic, very silly but he was also an excellent musician. He was a talented man who is going to be sadly missed."

A woman walking her dog made the grim discovery, and the beach below the iconic East Cliff, where TV series Broadchurch was set, was cordoned off.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: "Dorset Police were called at 7.45am on Sunday to a report of a possible body on the beach at West Bay. A middle-aged man was located below the cliffs.

"His injuries were consistent with having fallen from a height."

Mayor of Bridport Maggie Ray told the Dorset Echo: "This is very sad news.

"I can only say what everyone else has been saying and that it is an awful thing to happen. I feel for the family and send them our condolences."

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