French 'Survivor' doctor kills himself after contestant dies

The doctor for the French version of hit reality TV show "Survivor" committed suicide in Cambodia on Monday, just over a week after a contestant died of a heart attack, the producer said.

"We learn with dismay that Doctor Thierry Costa committed suicide today (Monday) in Cambodia," Adventure Line Productions, producer of the show "Koh-Lanta", said in a statement.

Costa, 38, had been Koh-Lanta's emergency physician for four seasons, ALP said.

"Everyone admired his great professionalism with the participants and the production staff. He left behind a letter that has been transmitted to his family."

Contestant Gerald Babin died of a heart attack aged 25 on the first day of filming on the tropical island of Koh Rong on March 22, prompting French broadcaster TF1 to axe the show's 2013 season.

It was the first death in any French reality TV programme.

ALP said Babin had complained of cramps during one of the challenges set for contestants and received emergency medical care from Costa.

He was airlifted to hospital in nearby Sihanoukville where he died.

French authorities have opened a preliminary inquiry into "involuntary homicide" to determine the cause of death, although the Cambodian authorities have determined that Babin died of natural causes.