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Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor ‘spoke publicly about suicide before his death’

Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor
Rihanoff said Windsor was not just her dance teacher, but a friend - Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images Europe

Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor spoke publicly about suicide and struggles with mental health, his former co-star Kristina Rihanoff has said following his death.

Robin Windsor, 44, whose death was announced on Tuesday, was found dead in a hotel room in London, according to reports.

Rihanoff, his former Strictly colleague, wrote on Instagram: “There is no words to express the pain and devastation.

“Robin wasn’t just my dance partner, he was a friend and together we shared endless experiences from our careers 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 a suicide.

“I’m sure it was devastating for anyone who [loves] Robin to hear something like that, but those thoughts were in his head for quite many years and it’s so deeply sad that he felt that he is better [in] another place rather than stay here.

“Too much pain, too much disappointment, too much neglect.”

Rihanoff, 46, said Windsor had “neglected his health” leading to an injury resulting in an operation that “put him out of work for some time”.

Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff
Robin Windsor, who joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2010 and took part in four series before leaving, pictured with Kristina Rihanoff - Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images Europe

The cause of Windsor’s death, which was announced on Tuesday, is not yet known.

However it is now claimed Windsor suffered an incident over New Year which may be linked to his death.

A friend told the Daily Mail: “He kept saying that something had happened over New Year but he wouldn’t say what it was.

“He sounded absolutely traumatised – whatever had happened must have been truly awful.”

Windsor was found dead in a hotel room days after he returned from performing on a Fred Olsen Cruise in Africa, the Daily Mail reported.

On Jan 4 he posted on social media: “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.”

Trauma post on social media

Weeks later he suggested he had had a traumatic experience with a quote by Dr Thema Bryant: “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.”

Windsor joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2010 and took part in four series before leaving.

His celebrity partners on the BBC show included actresses Patsy Kensit, Anita Dobson and Lisa Riley as well as Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden.

Windsor’s agents and co-stars were among the first to pay tribute to the dancer, who had previously spoken of his struggle with depression during filming of the televised competition.

Windsor in 2018 told the Dancing Times: “We all have dark days but I was having dark weeks.

“I would end up not getting out of bed for four or five days at a time, as far as everyone was concerned I was ‘happy Robin’ – except to the people I lived with.”

Robin Windsor
Windsor had previously spoken of his struggle with depression - Ian West/PA

The news of Windsor’s death was confirmed by Sisco Entertainment, which represented him in various areas of theatre and corporate entertainment.

A statement 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 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.”

A Strictly Come Dancing spokesman said: “The whole Strictly Come Dancing family are deeply saddened to hear the news about our dear friend Robin Windsor.

“He was not only an exceptionally talented dancer and choreographer but also a caring, considerate and kind person both on and off the dance floor. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this extremely difficult time.”