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Exclusive: Former Strictly star Robin Windsor heaps praise on Lisa Riley's weight loss transformation

Lisa Riley took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012

Sharnaz Shahid

Over the past year, Lisa Riley has been documenting her weight loss transformation which has seen the former Emmerdale actress lose an impressive 12 stone. And in an new interview with HELLO!, Lisa's former Strictly Come Dancing partner Robin Windsor heaped praise on the 42-year-old's journey, admitting he was there to offer her advice with her mission. "I was there in the background, but it was all down to her," he shared. "There were a couple of medical things. She was told that it would be a good idea to change your lifestyle and lose some weight. Her mother had died from cancer, and her father had been diagnosed with diabetes."

Robin Windsor and Lisa Riley met on Strictly in 2012

However it wasn't all down to dancing and regular exercise. "The first thing she did was to stop drinking," Robin confessed. "Once she saw the weight coming off from that, it then inspired her to keep going. Now she loves her fitness, she actually loves her wellbeing." The stars were partnered up together in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, becoming one of the most-love pairings of the series. Their chemistry lit up the dancing, so it's hardly surprising that the pair remained the best of friends. "Lisa is a very special person," the dancer added. "We all expected her to be the joke contestant – just based on her size. She wanted to go out there and prove that you don't have to be a certain size to be able to dance. And she did that, not only that, we created the best friendship in the world."

MORE: Find out which Strictly professional Lisa Riley was initially paired up with

The former Strictly star has a new job with Caribtours

He continued: "We are still best friends, she lives 10 minutes away from me. We see each other all the time. Seeing her progress over the last two years and all of that weight loss has been absolutely amazing." Looking back at his time on Strictly, Robin - who hung up his Strictly dancing shoes in 2015 – confessed he still feels nostalgic during this time of the year when the new line-up is announced. "I do miss my time on Strictly," the professional dancer revealed. "It was a wonderful show to work on. When it comes to this time of the year, people started to get paired up with their celebrities that's when I start to miss it. I think, 'Who would I have got if I was still there?'"

GALLERY: Meet the professional dancers in Strictly's biggest ever line-up

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Robin, 38, has plenty to look forward to as he will be hosting a residency during Caribtours' September Solos next month at BodyHoliday St Lucia. For those travelling alone, guests will be able to enjoy some of Robin's dance classes. Robin explained: "All the activities there are optional. You can do as little or as much as you want, you can participate or sit back on the beach and enjoy your holiday. I'll be incorporating a lot Latin dances that people can do solo- and you can actually get fit as well whilst learning all the steps that you see on Strictly." Meanwhile, fans will soon get to see Robin out on the road before he retires from dancing. "I'm going to do a farewell tour, starting in October," he shared. "I'm hanging up my dancing shoes – and I've been on the road for twenty years so I wanted to do something different before I was 40."

Caribtours offers 7 nights to September Solos at BodyHoliday from £2,095 based on one adult in a Standard Garden View Room on an all-inclusive basis (including food and beverages, sports activities, daily spa treatment, private airport transfers and return flights). For more information, visit www.caribtours.co.uk or call 0203 553 7543.

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