Angie Dowds — an award-winning celebrity fitness trainer who helped contestants slim down on The Biggest Loser UK — has been found dead in an apparent suicide. Police believe the depressed TV star threw herself off of the cliffs at Beachy Head in East Sussex on Sunday.
A popular personality with British television audiences, Dowds, 42, had drawn up diet plans and coached contestants on the reality series since 2005. She was voted Personal Trainer of the Year at the International Fitness Showcase Awards the following year. Just a few months ago, the trainer seemed excited about filming a new season of the TV show:
"Great news Biggest Loser is back for another series with Davina, Richard and me-cant wait! If you want to apply go to biggestloseruk.com," she tweeted in July.
Police fear the Canadian-born health fanatic plunged from sheer cliffs on the south coast of England after a year plagued by personal troubles. Dowds had a storied history with drug abuse and alcoholism and had only recently called it quits with her longtime girlfriend, Corrie Preece, friends say. Her body was found on the beach beneath the cliffs over the weekend, about an hour after a woman "was seen to jump or fall," a spokesperson for the Sussex Police told The London Free Press.
"Just after 4:30 p.m. on Sunday members of the public reported that a woman was seen to jump or fall from the top of cliffs at Beachy Head. Coastguards found the body of a woman at the foot of the cliffs about an hour later. There are no suspicious circumstances and it is believed that the body may be that of a 42-year-old from London."
Virtual condolences are pouring in from those who knew and worked with Angie. Wil Graham, a former Biggest Loser champ, thanked the fitness guru for providing "guidance, support and friendship" as he worked toward his weight loss goals on the show in 2009. In a Twitter tribute to Dowds, he writes:
"Thanks to everyone for their messages. Angie Dowds @angechops is someone both @paddycunningham and I will be forever indebted to for her guidance, support, and friendship throughout our personal journeys. I know we're not alone; she touched, inspired and gave focus to so many - she's now at peace and I know anyone close to her will first grieve and then celebrate her life with peace and respect. She lived her life her own way and helped bless me and others with the determination to do the same. It's not just those in fitness who will miss her - the world is now less interesting. Thanks Ange xxx."
In February, Angie was temporarily axed from Loser after she violated show rules by advising her team of dieters to go on an extreme diet of just nuts and apples. There's been little talk, however, of that fiasco during this time of remembrance. A rep for the show praises Dowds as a "dedicated trainer."
"Everybody at The Biggest Loser is shocked and devastated by the news of Angie's death. Angie was a dedicated trainer and a part of the show for four series and our thoughts and prayers go to her family and friends at this time," a series spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.
Image Courtesy ITV
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