Russell Grant: I was a 27 stone recluse before Strictly
Russell Grant was a 27 stone ''recluse'' and suffered from depression for 12 years before he entered 'Strictly Come Dancing'
Russell Grant was a 27 stone "recluse" before he entered 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
The TV astrologer - who was voted off the BBC One show on Sunday night (20.11.11) - suffered from depression from 1997 to 2009 and used to tell friends he was away working in America when he was actually holed up in bed in his North Wales home.
He told Radio Times magazine: "You don't go out because you don't want people to laugh at you. And you also don't go out because you can't go out because you can't walk anywhere without your angina spray. There's no joy. You feel there's no reason to carry on."
Despite leaving the show at the weekend, Russell - who was partnered alongside Flavia Cacace - credits 'Strictly' with saving his life.
He said: "'Strictly' has saved my life, absolutely. I owe this show so much and I've got my life back. I only wish this had happened to me 30 years ago, but there's a time and a place for everything."
Meanwhile, former 'EastEnders' actress Anita Dobson is to be paired alongside Kiwi dancer Brendan Cole this weekend after her regular partner Robin Windsor was ordered by doctors to rest when he contracted an infection in his foot.
Anita said: "I am utterly distraught that Robin is laid up sick at home in bed, but hopefully he will be back on his feet soon. I'm really excited at the prospect of dancing with Brendan though - it's a fantastic opportunity."
Robin added: "I am devastated that I am unable to dance with Anita this week. I have amazing faith in Brendan to look after Anita and do a great job this coming weekend. I can't wait to get my dancing shoes back on and get back to fighting for that glitterball trophy!"
This is the second time Brendan - who was originally partnered alongside Lulu - has stepped in to the shoes of one of his fellow professionals after he danced with former 'Neighbours' star Holly Valance when Artem Chingvinstsev injured his spine two weeks ago.