Tragic Dale Winton became so depressed and ill in his last years, a petrified neighbour used to check up on the much loved star every day to make sure he hadn’t killed himself.
John Wenzel, who lived two doors down from the Supermarket Sweep host’s US home, revealed that just six weeks before his death Dale said he could not get over a love split and admitted I have a broken heart.
As his happiness deserted him Dale suffered physically too, with breathing problems caused by heavy smoking and crippling shoulder and back pain that left him struggling to walk.
Things got so bad for the TV host he hardly left his house, but some locals who spotted him out dubbed him the man with the deformed back.
John, 60, told the Sunday Mirror When we last spoke it was about six weeks ago – and Dale was in a really bad state of mind.
We spoke about politics for a bit, then he mentioned his depression.
He said he was still devastated by the break-up of his relationship and couldn’t get over it. He said ‘I have a broken heart’.
But this was not new – his depression had been causing him problems for the last three years.
Last night police were still probing the death of the former BBC National Lottery host, whose body was found at his rented London home last Wednesday. Dale was just 62 years old.
His death is being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious.
John said It is so sad. It is so hard to take it all in. Dale was such a great guy and deserved to go on living.
He and Dale became neighbours 13 years ago when the star bought a three-bedroom house in a gated community in Sarasota, Miami.
It is believed Dale had been living between the UK and Florida for the last 15 years, but he chose to spend the majority of his time in America to escape the glare of publicity.
John said Dale loved to potter about his US home close to a golf course and could often be seen riding his bike around the neighbourhood.
Speaking from an armchair on his front lawn, father-of-three John said We have talked and joked with each other so many times over the years – but I always knew it would not last.
I always worried that Dale would take his own life one day, just like his mother.
In fact, I always thought he would not die of natural causes.
John believes Dale’s failed relationship led to his decline.
He said He just could not get over this guy.
He really must have been in love with the man and I think the depression of his break-up is what killed him. Every time we spoke over the past three years he would always talk about it.
He was such a happy guy at first, but then I saw the life sucked out of him.
I’d say ‘Hey Dale, how’s it going?’ And he would respond with stuff like, ‘Oh I’m depressed, it is all too much’.
On some occasions, he’d go back to being his old self and scream, ‘I am fabulous’ as he cycled past me. But then I would see the happiness just drain straight back out of him again.
I tried to tell him to get over it, but he just could not do it.
Dale’s mental deterioration was mirrored by his physical health.
John said the star became sickly thin as his shoulder and back problems worsened and he even struggled to ride his beloved bicycle around the block.
Dale was also a chain smoker, which caused him such severe breathing difficulties that John had to help him install a home ventilation device.
He said Dale’s health got worse. His shoulder was bad, he had back problems and he could hardly breathe because he smoked four packets of cigarettes a day.
He got so thin over the past few months and he looked really quite ill.
I think he really struggled with his physical appearance.
When I first met Dale, he loved to be flamboyant and pretty, but towards the end I think he was embarrassed by the way he looked.
It was terrible to see him like that. Dale still tried to bring joy into my life as that is what he loved to do. But sometimes he would not leave the house.
I would check in to make sure he had not done something bad.
I honestly think the only thing that could have saved his life is if he had managed to find someone else to help mend his heart.
Before Dale’s deadly downward spiral John said the star lived a fun-filled life in the Sunshine State.
He enjoyed driving a fleet of exotic motors, including dozens of Land Rovers, Bentleys and Jaguars.
John revealed Dale liked to have bundles of cash piled high throughout his home and jewellery scattered all over the furniture.
He also had thousands of his special cigarettes delivered from the UK.
According to John, the In It To Win It presenter would go on regular trips to Miami and frequented a number of gay bars in the area.
Before his devastating break-up, Dale often had men of all varieties visiting his home and John once even joked with the star that he was a chubby chaser.
He said Not a lot of people know this, but Dale was really into politics.
We could sit and chat about it for hours. He was a Trump supporter. He almost had the same tan as Trump.
In fact Dale was so tanned that sometimes I did not know whether I should shake his hand or peel him.
Dale also loved his luxury cars and was always getting new ones delivered. He loved the British brands.
He was a rich guy who loved to enjoy life. I once went into his home and saw wads of cash piled high. It was 50s and 100s.
He had beautiful jewellery and nice watches all over the place. He loved the finer things in life.
Telly star Dale saw his popularity soar throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
He was always a consummate TV professional, but in recent years he kept a low profile as rumours of his poor heath began to circulate.
This year he tried to relaunch his career with Channel 5 show Dale’s Florida Fly Drive, but he died before the series was shown in full.
John believes the star always struggled with the pressures of fame.
He said Dale was a sweetheart, he was a guy who always wanted to be seen in the light – but he didn’t always want to shine.
Sometimes he wanted to turn that light off. He loved the fame but he also wanted to get away from it.
The funny thing was though, if you had no idea who he was, he definitely made sure you would find out.
But here he could be himself, I think it is the only time he could be.
I will always miss him.
News Source MirrorNews