Dereham man who worked with Whitney Houston speaks of his shock at the singer’s death

A Dereham man who has worked as a security guard for Whitney Houston spoke today at his shock over the singer's death.

Neil Irons, 41, who is chairman of Dereham Cricket Club, worked with the superstar during a tour in Brunei in 1996.

He said: 'I woke up and saw the news on TV this morning and was completely shocked. I couldn't believe it. I ran upstairs and told the wife and my 16-year-old boy Jamie.

'It's quite surreal seeing this happen to someone that I have worked with.

'She was a bit of a diva and, like a lot of the big American stars, could be quite demanding and difficult to work with and I didn't speak to her personally.

'But she was an incredible talent. I was explaining to my son this morning just how good a singer she was and that there will never be anyone like her in the future.'

He added: 'I worked with Michael Jackson at the Brit Awards in 1996 when there was the incident with Jarvis Cocker and this reminds me of the day Michael Jackson died. It's really surreal.'

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Houston died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Some sources reported she was found slumped in the bath. The 48-year-old was best known for powerful ballads such as I Will Always Love You and One Moment In Time.

But her later career was overshadowed by substance abuse and her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

She was pronounced dead at around midnight (UK time) on Saturday.

Investigations into the cause of her death are continuing.

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