Ziggy Dust, the Polish dancing street sweeper from Chiswick who sparked a YouTube phenomenon, has left the country after allegedly receiving death threats.
In a post on a local internet forum on Wednesday, he bid farewell to the residents whose hearts he had captured in dramatic style.
"I'm outside of England because someone wanted to kill me before new year," he wrote. "I feel very sad. Not everyone was happy, someone hates me very much, me and my dancing job. I miss Chiswick. I left England without choice. All the best, Zig."
Ziggy, 47, who lived in Loring Road, Isleworth, moved to England from his home town Torun after he started struggling in his career as a watchmaker.
He lived in the area for three years but was thrust into the limelight last year when videos of his spinning, sliding and Michael Jackson-esque moves were posted on YouTube.
His message sparked a flurry of sympathetic replies but also speculation about the veracity of his claims.
Sam Harrison, owner of Sam's Brasserie, said Ziggy, who used to DJ at the Barley Mow Passage venue, had popped into see him last week to collect his equipment.
"I don't know the full story and perhaps there was some exaggeration," he said. "He said he had been forced up against a wall and threatened by people who said they didn't like what he was doing in Chiswick and shouldn't be in this country. He felt no-one could help him.
"He was very scared and said he didn't feel safe. He also said he'd been threatened several times, that notes were left on his dust cart and near his home with threats to kill him, and that the police said they couldn't do anything."
He added that Ziggy, who told him that his persecutors were members of a National Front faction, would certainly be missed by locals.
"He was someone who added a lot to the area," he said. "It's terrible that people still behave like that."
However, Ziggy's supervisor Marcus Harrison said he was not aware of any actual threats and that nothing had been reported to him.
"He did get a bit paranoid about a few things and comments from people in passing," he said. "I don't think there were any physical altercations. He decided it was to go home just to be on the safe side.
"School kids used to wind him up but there were no actual racist comments. I think he took it a little bit to heart. The fact that he put himself in the limelight, I think he was reading a little bit too much into it.
"In one case, he said that people were parked in a car near where he was working, and that they wanted to kill him. He was a little bit paranoid."
"He felt as if he shouldn't be there anymore because he that people didn't like what he was doing. Which is a shame because people loved him being there."
Insp David Osborne, of Chiswick police, said: "As you would expect, we treat allegations of this type very seriously but there are no records of Ziggy contacting police to make any allegations whatsoever.
"I would also be interested to hear about the activities of the National Front in Chiswick, if there are any."