Strictly's Janette Manrara heartbroken as she pays emotional tribute to 'beautiful friend'

Janette Manrara
Janette Manrara at the 2022 Pride of Britain Awards on 24th October 2022 -Credit:Daily Mirror

Upon hearing the tragic news of her friend's passing, Strictly Come Dancing star, Janette Manrara took to social media to share a heartfelt tribute.

"Goodbye my beautiful friend," she posted, accompanying the farewell note with an emotive picture of Anthony 'TJ' Paradise cuddling his pet.

Tragic confirmation of TJ's passing was shared by his husband, Bobby Newbury, on May 7. Bobby's touching Instagram post read: "With the heaviest heart I have to let everyone know that my beautiful husband T.J. lost his four year battle with cancer on 5/4/24. He was surrounded by loved ones and even in this dark time there was so much light and love in the room.

"If you met him even once you knew how much of an impact he had on the world around him. Nothing will ever be the same. I had twenty and a half years of love and memories and now I have a lifetime of missing you. I love you, my sweetheart."

Janette responded: "I love you Bobby. Sending all the love and light during this difficult time. May he rest in peace."

Earlier this year, Janette and her spouse Aljaz Skorjanec were dealt another blow with the heartbreaking loss of their close friend and Strictly colleague Robin Windsor. Robin's untimely death at age 44 was announced in February, prompting Janette and Aljaz to pay homage to their friend who "who filled the room with sunshine", reports the Mirror.

They have expressed their deep sadness over the news of Robin's passing, stating: "We are so saddened by the news of Robin Windsor. He was a dear friend of ours and filled the room up with sunshine whenever he walked in. His energy and smile were infectious and we will miss him deeply."

The couple has faced their own hurdles and experienced a significant transformative year.

Janette and Aljaz became first-time parents in 2023, welcoming their "miracle" baby girl Lyra Rose after a harrowing journey through IVF.

As they transitioned into 2024, Aljaz confessed to having had a monumental shift in his life, expressing his desire to excel at fatherhood and echoing Metallica's song lyrics, noting: "This year has been the most life-changing year for me. All I want to do in 2024 is to SMASH fatherhood! Like that Metallica song goes 'nothing else matters."

Janette, now a mother of one, has shared her challenging post-birth experience with The Mirror, revealing that the pain from her Caesarian section prevented her from holding her newborn daughter for weeks. This physical separation propelled Janette into an emotional downspin as she grappled with bonding with her baby.

Relating her ordeal on our Invite Only podcast, Janette admitted: "It was hard as a C-section, it's a long recovery. I couldn't carry Lyra as much as I wanted to. That was really hard for me emotionally. It's weird because you've carried this baby in your belly for nine months you feel so connected to it. Then she's born, and in the hospital you're dealing with stitches, you're dealing with all the drugs in your body.

"I thought when I get home it'll be fine. But then at home, obviously I still couldn't, so Aljaz took the helm and I went properly down. I just thought, 'How can I not hold my baby now? I've just done this and now I can't hold her'. That was really tough."

Janette Manrara opened up about her challenging post-birth experience, revealing that despite the initial difficulties, she and Aljaz Skorjanec faced a tough journey to parenthood, which almost led them to IVF before conceiving naturally just weeks prior to starting treatment.

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