Former Strictly Come Dancing star Robin 'Bobby' Windsor dies aged 44

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Robin 'Bobby' Windsor has died aged 44.

A professional Latin and ballroom dancer, he danced on the BBC show between 2010 and 2015, and was partnered with celebrities Patsy Kensit, Anita Dobson, Lisa Riley and Deborah Meaden.

He also performed with Susanna Reid in 2011's Children In Need special and This Morning host Alison Hammond in the 2015 Christmas Special.

He had most recently appeared in stage show Come What May, a Moulin Rouge! tribute.

His death was announced on the official Facebook page of Burn The Floor - a dance company he founded in 1997.

They said he would leave "a void in our hearts that will never be filled".

Their statement read: "The Burn the Floor (BTF) 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."

The post was accompanied by a photo of him dancing with Australian ballroom dancer Jessica Raffa, which the message said, "defined our company, colourful, extreme and sensual".

It went on: "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."

In a long post on Instagram, fellow professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff paid tribute to Windsor, and said he had been experiencing "excruciating pain" due to an ongoing back injury.

Becoming friends after being partnered together on Strictly, she said he had been "absolutely destroyed" after parting ways with the show, after which she'd "started to see changes in his personality, depression and broken self worth".

Rihanoff said he was "struggling more and more with instability of work and excruciating back pain" eventually going on to have an operation which left him unable to work for some time.

Highlighting the "short stage life" of working dancers, she said, "nobody really cares because there is always the next person who can take your place and that's the ugly truth".

Windsor's cause of death has not been revealed.

His former boyfriend, X Factor star Marcus Collins paid tribute on Instagram, sharing photos of them together and writing: "The World just got a lot less sparkly. Robin You were so loved."

They met after Collins featured on the front cover of Gay Times, and dated for around a year and a half until splitting up in 2015.

The whole Strictly team paid tribute to Windsor, as did co-hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, calling his death "heart-breaking" and saying he was "gone too young".

Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and former judge Bruno Tonioli added to the growing tributes, along with glowing words from his former celebrity partners and fellow professionals alike.

Windsor's agent, Sisco Entertainment, also posted a statement on social media, praising his "vibrant spirit" and "infectious energy and warmth".

They wrote: "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."

Strictly co-star James Jordan also paid tribute, remembering Windsor as "very caring and fun".

Jordan, who performed on Strictly from 2006 until 2013, wrote on Instagram: "I had the pleasure of working with this man for many years on Strictly - I have such fond memories of him.

"He was always very caring and fun to be around. Everyone who came in contact with him adored him, from his celebrity partners to his working colleagues.

"You will be missed old friend."

Windsor, who was born in Suffolk, first began dancing at the age of three when his parents enrolled him in classes in Ipswich, according to his website.

He went on to represent England in numerous championships, both on the domestic and international levels.

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.

Windsor got his TV break on Strictly in 2010, performing on the hit dance show until 2014 when he was forced to pull out of the series due to a slipped disc which left him paralysed for four days.

While never winning the Glitterball Trophy, he reached seventh place with both Kensit and Dobson.

Windsor 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.

He was a vocal advocate for mental health and worked closely with the Sane Charity.