Kelly Brook was a favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing when she was partnered with Brendan Cole back in 2007.
Kelly, then 27, had impressed the judges and the public with her ballroom skills and was well on her way to lifting the Glitterball trophy when tragedy struck and her beloved builder dad Ken Parsons died aged just 57.
He had been diagnosed with lung cancer a year earlier, and in that time, Kelly had devoted herself to spending as much time with him as possible.
They took long drives in the countryside around their hometown of Rochester, Kent, with Kelly describing their precious last months together as ‘beautiful’.
“From the February when he was diagnosed my life turned upside down,” Kelly – who turns 41 today – previously told In Style magazine.
“Everything else went on hold and I spent the whole year with him. He drove me all around the little country villages.
“I feel I really got to know him. It was beautiful. I feel so grateful.”
At first, Kelly bravely tried to continue with the BBC One competition in memory of her dad, but it quickly became clear that it was too much for the devastated star.
A BBC spokesperson said at the time: “Sadly Kelly Brook has taken the decision to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing following the loss of the father this week.
“Kelly has done some training as she had hoped to continue with the show in his memory.
“However, understandably she has found it too difficult.
“Kelly has been a fantastic part of the programme and she will be sorely missed by everyone on the show who would also like to express their deepest sympathy to Kelly and her family at this difficult time.”
At the time, Kelly was engaged to Hollywood actor Billy Zane, who she had been dating for four years.
She had already postponed their wedding to focus on her father, but the strain proved to be too much for their romance and she ended it in 2008.
“I feel like there was a time when I really wanted to get married and have children, but my dad got very ill when I was engaged to be married, and I was very close to getting married and he was diagnosed with lung cancer,” Kelly told ITV’s Loose Women in 2018, dishing on the reason for their split.
She continued: “As soon as he got lung cancer, my whole focus went from planning a wedding to spending every minute I could with my father.
“That’s all I wanted to do. And it was a real strain on our relationship because my fiancé was like, ‘hang on, I’m the centre of attention’ and all of a sudden he went so far down the pecking order.
“It’s very easy for people to be around you when everything is good and you’re living a lovely life, then as soon as real life happens, that is the test and that’s what broke us up.”
Billy has never spoken about their separation, or the reasons behind it, but proved there were no hard feelings when he praised Kelly’s role in 2015 sitcom, One Big Happy.
“I feel incredibly proud. I always knew she had a knack for comedy,” he told The Sun.
“It is nice to see she is well within her sweet spot right now. I think the audiences will be thoroughly charmed.”
Kelly moved on with rugby star Thom Evans from 2010 to 2012 before getting with current partner, Jeremy Parisi, in 2015.