Gallery: Dancing has been Robin Windsor’s life but the Ipswich star feared he would never do it again

Robin Windsor said he found it hard to watch Strictly Come Dancing last year when he was sidelined w

Robin Windsor said he found it hard to watch Strictly Come Dancing last year when he was sidelined with a back injury. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich dancing star Robin Windsor is ready to return and win Strictly Come Dancing after a ‘miracle’ recovery from back surgery, which ruled him out of the last series.

Robin Windsor appearing in Burn The Floor with Kristina Rihanoff in London's West End.

Robin Windsor appearing in Burn The Floor with Kristina Rihanoff in London's West End. - Credit: Archant

“It was really hard to watch the last series at home,” he said. “I missed everybody an awful lot.”

Robin Windsor had been plagued by the back injury over a number of years.

“It got to a point where, two weeks before we started the series, I had to say ‘I can’t do this’ because not only could I really damage myself but I could also damage my partner if I drop them or anything like that,” he said.

He soon went underwent surgery to repair a lower disc in his back, explaining: “They had to cut me open, shave part of the disc off, sow me back up and send me on my way.”


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The 35-year-old confessed he feared the worst before and during his three-month lay-off.

He said: “There was a time when I was laying on the floor, wriggling around in an enormous amount of pain. It goes through your head: dancing is my life and if something goes wrong with the operation or anything like that I did fear that I wouldn’t be able to ever dance again.

Star of Dragons' Den Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor during a press call for the UK Strictly Come D

Star of Dragons' Den Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor during a press call for the UK Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2014 - Credit: PA

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“I had an awful lot of worries that I wasn’t going to get back to normal. They did say you may have trouble or you will always have to suffer with your back.

“However, I made a miraculous recovery. The surgeon was so happy. I actually went back to dancing a good couple of months earlier than he predicted and it was fantastic to actually set foot on that dance floor again and do what I love.

“I did everything the doctors told me to for the first time in my life. I actually listened and because of that I made a full recovery.

“However, always at the back of your mind you are thinking ‘be really careful’. It is all about the way you lift your partner and if you do it correctly you won’t have any problems.”

But he said the ordeal has meant he has lost an “awful” amount of weight.

“I was quite a big muscular guy before but I stopped going to the gym for about a year and have slimmed right down,” he said.

“It took me 10 years to get it like and it all disappeared in six months.

“But that seems to be to everybody’s preference because they say ‘oh, you look so much younger!’ and I say ‘thank you very much!’”

The former Copleston High School student started life on Strictly Come Dancing, the celebrity ballroom competition that has beaten ITV1 rival The X Factor in the TV ratings war over the last few years, in 2010.

He famously reached the semi-finals with actress Lisa Riley in 2012 – and now, following the last six months, is doubly determined to go a few steps further.

“It would be absolutely amazing if I could win the show,” he said.

“There is still a space on my mantelpiece for a Glitterball and I am not going to stop until I have got one.

“But I will be more than happy just to be back on the show. It is my dream job. It also depends who you get as a partner. I feel that I won with Lisa Riley because she went out there to prove a point.”

When asked if he thought Strictly could retain its TV ratings war title, he said: “The X Factor has perhaps gone a little stale and needs a revamp. They are both great shows but for me, and 10 million viewers, Strictly is the best in the country.

“But I think Simon Cowell is going to come back fighting this year. It is going to be a great autumn, fabulous television.”

Before then, Robin will be teaching ballroom dancing to anyone with a novice background at the Langham Community Centre in Essex next month.

“I love to teach people and see them enjoy what I love to do,” he said.

“Dancing is fun and it makes you forget anything else that is going on in the world. You are just concentrating and getting in the moment of the dance that you’re doing.”

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