News

KATIE HIND: Tragic former Strictly dancer Robin Windsor was found dead in a London hotel – with friends detailing his brave battle against ‘mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide’ and revealing he suffered a ‘troubling incident’ over New Year


Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Robin Windsor was found dead in a London hotel, as his friends detail his brave battle against mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide.

The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer, 44, suffered a troubling incident over the New Year period, before embarking to perform on a luxurious cruise in South Africa. 

And just days after he returned to London, Mail+ understands, he was found dead in a hotel. 

While the cause of Robin’s death has yet to be confirmed, his close friend and former Strictly co-star Kristina Rihanoff hinted that he may have taken his own life.

She wrote online: ‘There are no words to express the pain.

‘Robin wasn’t just my dance partner, he was a friend and together we shared endless experiences from our career highlights to hitting rock bottom of rejection. Many of you, who went to see his farewell tour, know perfectly well that he spoke very openly about his mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide.

  • For help, call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org
Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff during the launch of their Burn the Floor dance show in 2013

Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff during the launch of their Burn the Floor dance show in 2013

Strictly Come Dancing's Robin 'Bobby' Windsor has died at the age of 44, it was announced today

Strictly Come Dancing’s Robin ‘Bobby’ Windsor has died at the age of 44, it was announced today

On January 4, Robin had shared a message with his friends and followers which said: 'Big shout out and love to everyone who's reached out and checked in the last week. Sorry I have not replied... it's been a bit of a trying time and things are looking up. Robin.'

The dancer reposted a quote which said: 'Trauma teaches you to expect and accept the bare minimum. In this new season, may you adjust your standards and learn to receive the maximum. You are worthy. You are enough. You deserve overflow.'

On January 4 (left), Robin had shared a message with his friends and followers which said: ‘Big shout out and love to everyone who’s reached out and checked in the last week. Sorry I have not replied… it’s been a bit of a trying time and things are looking up. Robin.’ On January 21, he hinted at trauma (right) by sharing a quote from Dr Thema Bryant

Robin Windsor's last post on Instagram, a black and white selfie, was captioned, 'hiding in the shadows'

Robin Windsor’s last post on Instagram, a black and white selfie, was captioned, ‘hiding in the shadows’ 

‘I’m sure it was devastating for anyone who loves Robin to hear that, but those thoughts were in his head for many years… Too much pain, too much disappointment, too much neglect.’

In a second post she showed her followers her and Robin’s last rehearsal together in late November, adding: ‘If I only knew it’s the last ever dance… may you dance with the angels with no more pain my friend.’

Robin spent his final weeks bringing joy to others – even as he revealed he was ‘hiding in the shadows’ and hinted at ‘trauma’ in a series of haunting social media posts weeks before he passed away.

Dragons’ Den star Deborah told fans about Robin and her mother’s social meet up in a post on X in late January, writing: ‘Don’t you just love it!’ 

Meanwhile, a fan revealed how she came across Robin during a cha cha class, where he had agreed to dance with her because she did not have a partner. ‘A gentleman – sending love to his friends and family,’ she wrote in a heartfelt tribute on Instagram.

Despite this, Robin told his followers on January 14: ‘Remember, when something goes wrong in the circus, they send in the clowns to distract the audience. Well, something has gone very wrong with this circus and the clowns are everywhere.’ 

It comes after Robin previously opened up about his struggles with depression on Strictly. In 2018, he revealed: ‘We all have dark days but I was having dark weeks. I would end up not getting out of bed for four or fives days at a time, as far as everyone was concerned I was ‘happy Robin’ – except to the people I lived with.’

In another poignant interview with a mental health charity last year, he said: ‘I was always seen as a happy person, always with a big smile on my face. Now I realise that those with the biggest smiles sometimes can hide the biggest pain.’

Dragons' Den star Deborah told fans about her mother meeting Robin in a post in late January, writing: 'Don't you just love it!'

Dragons’ Den star Deborah told fans about her mother meeting Robin in a post in late January, writing: ‘Don’t you just love it!’

Robin Windsor had been spending some time in Cape Town when the cruise ship docked. He wrote: 'This place is the distraction of all distractions.'

Robin Windsor had been spending some time in Cape Town when the cruise ship docked. He wrote: ‘This place is the distraction of all distractions.’

Meanwhile, a fan revealed how she came across Robin during a cha cha class, where he had agreed to dance with her because she did not have a partner

Meanwhile, a fan revealed how she came across Robin during a cha cha class, where he had agreed to dance with her because she did not have a partner

On January 14, he posted: 'Remember, when something goes wrong in the circus, they send in the clowns to distract the audience. Well, something has gone very wrong with this circus and the clowns are everywhere.'

On January 14, he posted: ‘Remember, when something goes wrong in the circus, they send in the clowns to distract the audience. Well, something has gone very wrong with this circus and the clowns are everywhere.’

He also previously told how was left struggling to get out of bed after his relationship with his fiancé Davide Cine ended, he lost his job on Strictly and he had to pay a £100,000 tax bill – as his world came crashing down all at the same time. 

Robin, who said he had battled with depression from the age of 19, would later get into a relationship with, X Factor star Marcus Collins – but their 18-month romance ended in 2015.

He said: ‘I was still on Strictly at the time it started – it was really bad. A lot of things happened at the same time, quite bad things, which set it in motion. My injury, a financial situation, my engagement [to Davide] had ended and I lost my job on Strictly all at the same time so it took its toll.’

Robin also revealed how he struggled to watch Strictly after he was axed by bosses in 2014 following a ‘horrible back operation‘. He previously said: ‘Leaving Strictly wasn’t my choice. I had a horrible back operation and they decided that they didn’t want to ask me back the next year. 

‘It was probably for health and safety reasons, in case something happened, but I was physically fit. One of my best friends Trent Whiddon, who replaced me to dance with Pixie Lott, I wanted to watch and support him, but it broke my heart.’

‘I was with Marcus Collins from the X Factor, who was my partner at the time, and said to him, ‘I’m really struggling to watch the show.’

‘He told me the best thing to do was to really get behind and support everybody. He said it was hard for him to watch the success of Little Mix, who beat him on X Factor.’

Robin, who started dancing at the age of three, was best known for his appearances on Strictly between 2010 and 2015.

The ‘extremely talented’ dancer spent last month entertaining holidaymakers by performing on a Fred Olsen Cruise and posted smiling selfies when the boat docked in South Africa

But he also hinted he was dealing with ‘trauma’ and thanked his friends and family for their support in a string of posts before his death.

Robin Windsor is pictured with TV presenter Susanna Reid on Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need back in 2011

Robin Windsor is pictured with TV presenter Susanna Reid on Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need back in 2011

Robin Windsor recently went on a cruise to South Africa and posed for photos. He commented: 'Sooo lovely to meet you both'

Robin Windsor recently went on a cruise to South Africa and posed for photos. He commented: ‘Sooo lovely to meet you both’

Robin Bobby Windsor dazzles in a blue ensemble as he enjoys dancing on a cruise trip just weeks before his tragic death

Robin Bobby Windsor dazzles in a blue ensemble as he enjoys dancing on a cruise trip just weeks before his tragic death

It's understood that Robin Windsor (left) was performing on board the cruise last month with Gordana Grandosek Whiddon (second from left)

It’s understood that Robin Windsor (left) was performing on board the cruise last month with Gordana Grandosek Whiddon (second from left)

The cruise trip was one of the final times that Robin Windsor would dance. Here he joined a friend on stage as they docked in Durban, South Africa

The cruise trip was one of the final times that Robin Windsor would dance. Here he joined a friend on stage as they docked in Durban, South Africa 

Show night: Robin Windsor (centre) laughs after a 'fun packed first week' on board the cruise ship. He commented with two love hearts

Show night: Robin Windsor (centre) laughs after a ‘fun packed first week’ on board the cruise ship. He commented with two love hearts

The talented dancer is seen performing on stage on the cruise ship where he entertained holidaymakers as they travelled the world

The talented dancer is seen performing on stage on the cruise ship where he entertained holidaymakers as they travelled the world

On January 27, Robin posed in front of a marina with Cape Town’s Table Mountain in the background with the caption: ‘This place is the distraction of all distractions!’

He looked happy as he took pictures of elephants on safari and relaxed in a lodge overlooking the stunning Leopard Mountain game reserve. The dancer had also enjoyed a one-night stop in Mozambique and was seen relaxing on the beach and posing with a Lemur in Madagascar in the days prior.

But Robin’s last post on Instagram, which was shared to his 46,000 followers on January 28, was a more muted selfie in the near-dark with the caption: ‘Hiding in the shadows.’ 

Seven days earlier, the dancer had reposted a quote which said: ‘Trauma teaches you to expect and accept the bare minimum. In this new season, may you adjust your standards and learn to receive the maximum. You are worthy. You are enough. You deserve overflow.’

And on January 4, he had shared a message with his friends and followers which said: ‘Big shout out and love to everyone who’s reached out and checked in the last week. Sorry I have not replied… it’s been a bit of a trying time and things are looking up. Robin.’

Tributes have poured in underneath the star’s tragic last selfie, with one fan writing: ‘So shocked and saddened to hear the news. Have followed him for years since Strictly, an amazing talent. RIP.’

His mental health became so bad that he couldn’t get out of bed and he admitted that he considered taking his own life until he was talked out of it. It was at this point he started seeking help – mostly from mental health charity Sane.

Another added: ‘So sad & shocked. Just a couple of weeks ago I was dancing in his arms for 90mins as I didn’t have a partner in a cha cha cha class. A gentleman. A gentle man. A magical day for me. Sending love to his friends and family RIP.’

A third posted: ‘No longer in the shadows but in the light.’ A fourth also said: ‘This was not the news I wanted to wake up to this morning. Rip Robin.’

Robin three weeks ago in South Africa where he was dancing on a cruise ship that was going around the world

Robin three weeks ago in South Africa where he was dancing on a cruise ship that was going around the world

Baby Robin being held by his older sister as a child. He began dancing at the age of three

He began dancing at the age of three and was winning competitions in primary school

Baby Robin being held by his older sister as a child. He began dancing at the age of three and was winning competitions in primary school (right)

Robin in a shot for a primary school show he was in shared on Instagram

Robin in a shot for a primary school show he was in shared on Instagram

Robin as a teenager after he left Ipswich to become a dancer in London when he was 15

Robin as a teenager after he left Ipswich to become a dancer in London when he was 15

Robin as a teenager after he left Ipswich to become a dancer in London when he was 15

Robin Windsor and Marcus Collins, a X-Factor finallist mentored by Gary Barlow. They had planned to marry but split in 2015

Robin Windsor and Marcus Collins, a X-Factor finallist mentored by Gary Barlow. They had planned to marry but split in 2015

Robin's last long term relationship appears to have been with X-Factor star Marcus Collins, who shared this image of them together today

Robin’s last long term relationship appears to have been with X-Factor star Marcus Collins, who shared this image of them together today

Strictly Come Dancing's James Jordan led tributes and said that Windsor was 'adored' by everyone

Strictly Come Dancing’s James Jordan led tributes and said that Windsor was ‘adored’ by everyone

South African dancer Oti Mabuse also paid tribute to the late star and described him as 'one of the kindest, loving, professional, creative and beautiful humans'

South African dancer Oti Mabuse also paid tribute to the late star and described him as ‘one of the kindest, loving, professional, creative and beautiful humans’

Fans were quick to share their condolences after hearing the news of Robin Windsor's passing

Fans were quick to share their condolences after hearing the news of Robin Windsor’s passing

Robin had flown out to join the cruise in the Indian Ocean at the beginning of January. He visited Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa while dancing for guests. While in Madagascar, he looked joyful and took part in a traditional dance with locals.

The dancer also stayed at a five-star safari lodge called Leopard Mountain where he saw elephants, giraffes, warthogs and lions. Robin then went on to visit East London and Cape Town, which he described as ‘glorious’.

At the end of last month, he posted a video of him and his partner Gordana Grandosek Whiddon dancing with the caption: ‘The show must go on’. 

Ms Whiddon, who also performed on Strictly, paid tribute today by sharing a video of the dance, alongside the caption, ‘I love you Bobby’ with a heart and a broken hearted emoji.

Robin partnered with model Patsy Kensit, EastEnders legend Anita Dobson, Loose Woman Lisa Riley and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden during his stint on Strictly. The Suffolk-born star also performed with This Morning host Alison Hammond in the 2015 Christmas Special.

A heartbroken Susanna Reid, who partnered with Robin on Strictly for Children in Need in 2011, fought back tears on today’s Good Morning Britain after learning of the dancer’s death.

After co-host Ed Balls announced the tragic news on Good Morning Britain, Reid told viewers: ‘He was an absolutely remarkable dancer, strong so creative, he was just so enthusiastic about dancing. I just adored him. ‘He was the most incredible personality. As soon as I danced with him there was something really special about it.’ 

Former Strictly dancer James Jordan also paid tribute, posting: ‘I had the pleasure of working with this man for many years on Strictly. 

‘Everyone who came in contact with him adored him, from his celebrity partners to his working colleagues. You will be missed old friend.’

A heartbroken Susanna Reid , who partnered with Robin Windsor on Strictly in 2011, fought back tears on today's Good Morning Britain after learning of the dancer's death

A heartbroken Susanna Reid , who partnered with Robin Windsor on Strictly in 2011, fought back tears on today’s Good Morning Britain after learning of the dancer’s death

Entertainment correspondent Richard Arnold also became overcome with emotion discussing Robin as he struggled to get his words out

Entertainment correspondent Richard Arnold also became overcome with emotion discussing Robin as he struggled to get his words out

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden on Strictly Come Dancing

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden on Strictly Come Dancing

Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor during Strictly Come Dancing launch event at the BBC Studios back in 2011

Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor during Strictly Come Dancing launch event at the BBC Studios back in 2011

The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer was best known for his appearances on BBC 's Strictly Come Dancing for five years between 2010-2015

 The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer was best known for his appearances on BBC ‘s Strictly Come Dancing for five years between 2010-2015

Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor perform a dance on a 'Burn The Floor' show in 2013

Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor perform a dance on a ‘Burn The Floor’ show in 2013

Long-time Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood remembered Robin as ‘one of the kindest, gentle, honest, funny and caring people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with’.

He added that the dancer would be ‘forever missed’ as he sent his support to Robin’s family and friends.

Robin was an original member of dance show Burn The Floor, who announced the star’s shock death on their official website.

Their statement read: ‘Burn the Floor family has lost one of its founding members, Robin ‘Bobby’ Windsor – who has tragically passed away.

‘A BTF journeyman he danced with us for twenty years – including Broadway, The West End and all our crazy adventures around the world.

‘His stunning image attached with Jessica Raffa defined our company, colourful, extreme and sensual.

‘His talent, attitude, energy and personality helped create the Burn the Floor stage reputation. He leaves a void in our hearts that will never be filled, yet our wonderful memories will stay forever’. 

From the age of three, Robin studied Latin and Ballroom and his talent and commitment to his vocation took him to the highest level of competition where he won numerous World Championships.

In 2010, his first year on Strictly, he danced with Patsy Kensit

In 2010, his first year on Strictly, he danced with Patsy Kensit

In 2011 he was partnered with EastEnders actress and singer Anita Dobson

In 2011 he was partnered with EastEnders actress and singer Anita Dobson

He joined the cast of show Burn The Floor in 2001 and toured the world for 10 years, with a nine-month run on Broadway.

He got his TV break on Strictly in 2010 but was forced to pull out of the series in 2014 due to a slipped disc which left him paralysed for four days. While he never won the Glitterball Trophy, he came seventh with Patsy Kensit and Anita Dobson.

Robin also appeared in Dancing With The Stars Australia and So You Think You Can Dance in the Netherlands and assisted in the choreography for the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance, as well as acting as a motivational speaker. 

His representatives told MailOnline: ‘It is with deep sorrow that we announce the tragic passing of our beautiful Robin.

‘Robin’s dancing started from a very young age and never stopped. He lit up any room he walked into, he was a nurturing soul always full of fun.

‘Strictly Come Dancing, Burn the Floor and many other dance shows along with all the school children around the country who he gave his time.

‘Robin was a strong advocate for mental health and worked closely with the ‘Sane Charity’. The dance world has lost some of its sparkle today. We ask for the family’s privacy at this very difficult time.’ 

Founder of Burn the Floor and friend of Robin, Harley Medcalf, said: ‘We have lost a beautiful friend, Robin Windsor, Bobby, one of the founding members of the Burn the Floor family.

‘Robin has passed away in England. A generous, extremely talented dancer, full of energy, life and love.

Tributes have poured in to Robin Windsor this morning, with Strictly's Amy Dowden describing him as a 'kind, talented soul'

Tributes have poured in to Robin Windsor this morning, with Strictly’s Amy Dowden describing him as a ‘kind, talented soul’

‘His stage presence defined the Burn the Floor company. Whenever we visited London, Robin was always the first to call, always there to support, celebrate, laugh and cry together.

‘In the photo attached a highly emotional Robin was just off stage after his last performance with Burn The Floor Reunion Tour in Birmingham in 2022.’

‘Our hearts are broken he will be greatly missed by all his friends, family and fans around the world.’

Performance arts theatre Burn The Floor, where Robin danced for 20 years and was a founding member, said there is a ‘void’ in their heart since the tragic passing.

Fellow dancer Giselle Rojas Peacock wrote: ‘I was shocked to find out today we lost another Dancer and Friend Robin Jamie Windsor.

‘This one hits home as we had so many years dancing performing and touring together all over the world in Burn the Floor.

‘One of the original members and poster boy of Burn, Bobby was so loved by everyone, the sweetest human. Just like a massive teddy bear.

‘You light up the stage with such an energy and it was always a pleasure to dance with you.

‘We had so many laughs, tears, highs and lows together and even though life took us in separate directions and the lord has taken you to soon, I think all us will cherish so many memories with you in them.

‘RIP my good friend. My heart breaks today for all who loved you. And there were many.’

Strictly choreographer Patrick Helm said Robin was unaware of how much he meant to people.

He wrote: ‘I don’t even know how to find the words to this post. I will dearly miss you Robin Windsor.

‘This one is hitting me hard and too close to home.

‘My deepest condolences go to your family and everyone who knew you! You were another one who was loved by so many but couldn’t see it himself.

Performance arts theatre Burn The Floor, where Robin danced for 20 years and was a founding member, said there is a 'void' in their heart since the tragic passing

Performance arts theatre Burn The Floor, where Robin danced for 20 years and was a founding member, said there is a ‘void’ in their heart since the tragic passing

Fans and friends flooded X with tributes to the late dancer

Fans and friends flooded X with tributes to the late dancer 

The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer (pictured in October 2023) was best known for his appearances on BBC 's Strictly Come Dancing for five years between 2010-2015

 The professional Latin and Ballroom dancer (pictured in October 2023) was best known for his appearances on BBC ‘s Strictly Come Dancing for five years between 2010-2015

‘May you finally be free and find piece. RIP Bobby.’

Robin was previously engaged to ex-partner Davide Cini and proposed on a romantic New York helicopter ride in 2013 before splitting years later.

He also previously dated Marcus Collins, the singer who featured on The X Factor in 2011. 

In a statement announcing his death, Sisco Entertainment said: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we announce the tragic passing of our beloved friend, Robin Windsor.

‘Robin’s presence in Come What May was more than just a performance; it was an embodiment of passion, grace, and sheer talent.

‘His extraordinary ability to express emotion through movement captivated audiences, leaving them spellbound with every step.

‘Beyond his impeccable dancing, Robin’s vibrant spirit lit up the room, infusing rehearsals and performances with infectious energy and warmth.

‘His laughter was contagious, his kindness boundless.

‘His friendship was a gift cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

‘Robin, you will be deeply missed.

‘Though Come What May will continue without you, your legacy will live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to share in your light.’

Robin Windsor attending the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012

Robin Windsor attending the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012

Robin Windsor strikes a pose for the cameras with Lisa Riley during Strictly in 2013

Robin Windsor strikes a pose for the cameras with Lisa Riley during Strictly in 2013

 

Alex Jones and Robin Windsor dance at the Radio Times Festival on the Green at Hampton Court Palace in London in 2015

Alex Jones and Robin Windsor dance at the Radio Times Festival on the Green at Hampton Court Palace in London in 2015



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button