There’s been so much chemistry between Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice on the Strictly dancefloor that some have wondered if the pair’s relationship is more than platonic.
So the disappointment was tangible when Debbie, 59, told the Daily Express last week that they were just good friends.
And now, just to bang another nail into those rumours, it’s been reported that Giovanni, 27, already has a ‘SECRET’ lover.
According to The Sun, the Sicilian has been close to fellow dancer Luba Mushtuk “for a number of years”, and the newspaper even claims that she “doesn’t like” Debbie because of her closeness with Giovanni.
Latin dance champion Luba will be Giovanni’s leading lady on his 2018 dance tour Born To Win. But according to The Sun’s report, they’re more than just professional partners.
A Strictly ‘source’ told the newspaper: “Luba and Giovanni are together. But she doesn’t like Debbie because of their bond — she feels how much Gio cares for her.
“It’s also upsetting, as she would like their romance to be out in the open. Luba is very keen to be on the show one day.
“She assists with choreography. But that means she has to spend a lot of time watching Giovanni rehearse with Debbie, which can be uncomfortable for her.”
And it’s not just in rehearsals that Debbie and Giovanni have demonstrated their affinity for one another.
The pair were recently pictured embracing after having a meal together – and then there was THAT kiss after they performed the Paso Doble on Strictly back in September.
Debbie took her dance partner by surprise by grabbing his face and planting a smacker on his lips.
She then told presenter Claudia Winkleman: “That wasn’t in the routine. In the rehearsal I wasn’t kissing him, so he didn’t expect it.”
If The Sun’s report is true, the discontent doesn’t seem to be having a negative effect on Debbie, and she remains the bookies’ favourite to win the competition.
As yet, though, it seems she hasn’t signed up for the Strictly tour that’ll be sashaying around the UK next year.
According to the Mirror, the celebrities who’ve signed up so far are Susan Calman and Jonnie Peacock, while last year’s winner Ore Oduba will be hosting.
Well, if Debbie does add her name to the list, and Luba is on board too, let’s just hope things remain civil!