Debbie McGee has (once again) been speaking out about her relationship with Strictly Come Dancing pro partner Giovanni Pernice.
The former magician’s assistant appeared on Loose Women on Tuesday, where she was bombarded with questions about hunky Italian Giovanni and their incredible chemistry.
Chemistry that did NOT translate into off-screen romance.
Addressing ongoing rumours about a secret fling with Giovanni, Debbie laughed: “They’re totally [ludicrous]. We really do have a special chemistry. He’s really special to me and I’m sure I am to him.
“We love each other to bits but there’s nothing more than a friendship and an amazing working partnership.
“We love dancing together so I think that’s why people thought there was a romance: when you dance, it’s very special.”
Debbie added: “I’m really missing Giovanni as every morning I’d see him. We didn’t have any days off. He made me laugh every day.
“I really miss him. You miss that presence.”
When asked by Gloria Hunniford how it felt dancing with another man after the loss of her husband Paul Daniels, Debbie said: “I never really thought about it. I was learning to dance, so I didn’t really think about it in that way, that I was up close with a strange person.”
“From day one, I felt comfortable with him. There was nothing that made me shy. On one of those lifts Giovanni had to put his hand between my legs – that’s as close as you can get!
“I can’t explain why, but we were just really comfortable in each other’s company.
“We had a lovely time.”
The pair competed in the Strictly finale over the weekend, but lost out in the Glitterball Trophy to Holby City actor Joe McFadden and his partner Katya Jones.
Debbie said Strictly had allowed her to step out of Paul’s shadow.
“[People] never really quite got to know me before or see I had a talent,” she said.
“Everyone always thinks magicians’ assistants just stand there. A joke really. But even being a magician’s assistant, if you’re good at your job, it looks like you’re doing nothing.
“It was nice for me to show everybody a bit more to me than that.”
Debbie said Paul would have been proud of her for doing Strictly – and getting further than he did during his own stint on the show.
“He would have loved it, absolutely loved it. If I did well he was always happy for me. He’d be looking down on me every week,” she said.
“When Paul did it, I got more nervous for him than I did getting nervous for myself, as doing the show wasn’t really his thing. Every week I’d go and watch him, rigid with nerves for him, thinking, ‘will he keep in time with the music or even get through the dance?’ He did much better than I thought he did!”
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.