Ipswich’s Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor backs Louise Redknapp to win 2016 Glitterball as he starts new tour Keep Dancing

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

Ipswich’s Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor has backed Louise Redknapp to be crowned this year’s Glitterball champion.

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. Picture: BBC/GUY LEVY

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. Picture: BBC/GUY LEVY - Credit: BBC

The former Eternal star and wife of former football Jamie Redknapp has been partnered with Kevin Clifton and has been made one of the bookies favourites (odds range from 5/1 to 7/1), but is behind current favourite Will Young (11/4), the former Pop Idol winner.

But Robin, who spent five years on the show as a professional dancer, including a memorable run to the semi-finals with Lisa Riley in 2012, said: “My money is on Louise Redknapp. I think Daisy Lowe with Aljaz (Skorjanec) is going to be brilliant, Tameka Empson will bring in a lot of personality and I reckon she is going to be a good mover as well.

“But at the moment, before we start, I’d say Louise Redknapp. I saw a little bit of the launch show and she looked like she was doing a great job. I saw a clip of her dancing which put up online and I think she is going to be great.

“Of course, Kevin has made three finals so far and I think this is his year. If he is going to life that glitterball trophy, it has got to be this year.”

Robin, who attended Copleston High School in Ipswich, also reckons Strictly fans are in for a big treat this year.

He said: “For me, it is going to be one of the best series they have ever had. Every day that they were releasing a different celebrity for the show this year, I was like, oh wow, what a great booking! And then an even better booking, and an even better booking!

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“They have got people on this year that I have always said I would love to see on the show, like Louise Redknapp, Tameka Empson, Anastacia is a great booking, and I think everybody has been paired up with the perfect partner, and there are some great new professionals and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do.”

Former Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls, partnered with new dancer Katya Jones is the rank outsider at 100/1.

“Judging on past performances of politicians, it is not looking good,” Robin said.

“We have only got to take a look at Ann Widdecombe and John Sergeant. Hopefully he is not going to be following in their footsteps but we have got to wait until the first night.

“But I think it is great that people from politics get involved. It just goes to show that they are all human and we are trying to learn the same thin and do something different. I just can’t wait to see how good or how badly he does!”

Robin last appeared as a professional dancer on the show in 2013, partnered with Dragon Den star Deborah Meaden. He made a miraculous and quick recovery, according to doctors, from a serious back injury which forced him to pull out a year later, but he was not called back for the 2015 series despite regaining full fitness.

The 37-year-old said: “I miss it loads. I was in Strictly for five years. I absolutely adore it. If they ask me back, I would jump at the chance. It is a great show to work on and has great people. I’ll be watching from afar this year but hopefully I will pop in to the studio one week and watch.

“Despite all the negativity in the newspapers, everybody does get on with one another rally well and it is a great atmosphere. A lot of the pro dancers are friends of mine from years ago and we are still friends to this day.”

However, he enjoyed a nationwide tour with the show Puttin’ On The Ritz last year and is embarking on another national tour until next June, in a new show entitled Keep Dancing.

Robin said: “It is the first time that I have choreographed a full show. I’m collaborating with a lady called Emma Rogers who has got a musical theatre background, so to put my ballroom skills and her musical theatre and jazz background into one show has been absolutely great.

“We opened a couple of weeks ago in Bromley with Lisa Riley as our guest star. She has lost all that weight and was absolutely brilliant. Now she is much more agile. She can turn much faster and do much more incredible things.

“We are currently in Wimbledon with (reigning) Strictly champions Jay (McGuiness) and Aliona (Vilani). They have been absolutely wonderful and we have had some rave reviews. We are officially open and on the road.

“One of the best things about being able to do these shows is to take what we love and get people to come and see it live. What you see on TV is fantastic but what you don’t feel is the energy that comes from everybody, and in a live theatre performance you really do feel that energy.”

Strictly Come Dancing starts on BBC One on Friday night (9pm-10pm) and Saturday night (6.30pm-8pm).