Strictly’s Annabel Croft ‘still traumatised’ after watching husband Mel die

Strictly’s Annabel Croft ‘still traumatised’ after watching husband Mel die

November 4, 2023

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Strictly Come Dancing star Annabel Croft has revealed she is “still traumatised” after witnessing the death of her husband Mel Coleman.

The former tennis champion, whose husband died of colon cancer at the age of 60 back in May, has described the ordeal her family suffered through at the time of her husband’s death.

Annabel, 57, recalled the heartwrenching moment her children Amber, Charlie and Lily all gathered around to be with their dad in his final few hours.

In an interview with MailOnline, Annabel asked: “Have you ever watched someone die? It is so traumatic.

“I was traumatised,” she revealed. “I am still traumatised, but at the same time I cannot believe he is gone.”

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Mel’s death came as a huge shock to his family, as it happened just 16 weeks after the healthy former round-the-world yachtsman was diagnosed with cancer.

Speaking about her husband’s sudden and unexpected diagnosis, she said: “It’s unthinkable. How can someone disappear in three months? We didn’t even know he was ill.”

Speaking about the harrowing day Mel was brought into hospital for the final time, she remembered: “We were blue lit to hospital. We never knew, none of us knew, that he wouldn’t be coming home.”

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Following a distressing few hours with an unsympathetic nurse, something shifted in Mel, as he realised his time was running out.

“We all realised not only that he was dying, but that he knew he was dying,” Annabel said.

He started giving orders — almost joking about it: ‘Charlie, the van wheel needs changing. Do that before you drive it.’ ‘Speak to the pension man.’


“He started apologising to our kids’ partners, saying he wasn’t going to be around to give them away on their wedding day. He never said ‘I’m frightened’ or ‘I’m going’.”

Asked if she got a chance to say a final goodbye to Mel, Annabel admitted: “Not really. It happened so quickly. He was drifting in and out of consciousness.

“And then we . . . watched him die. He took his last breath.

Annabel has since discussed how Strictly came around at the “right time” for her, as the intense dance rehearsals and gruelling schedule give her something to focus on.

Strictly Come Dancing returns tonight at 6.45pm on BBC One.

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