With the new season of Love Island now in full swing, fans can look forward to the coupling and re-coupling that will ensue over the summer. However, while all eyes on the villa, sparks seem to be flying between former contestant Maura Higgins and Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni Pernice, too. Here’s what we know so far about the rumoured new romance...
The chat around Higgins and Pernice began when the duo starting liking each other’s social media posts during June. That same month, it was reported that the pair had checked into the same hotel in Cornwall on a recent mini-break.
The couple were pictured together for the first time on July 1, during a night out in Blackpool at the Sapphires drag cabaret show bar. According to the publication, the pair had been staying in a hotel at the seaside resort while Giovanni performed in Him And Me alongside fellow Strictly star Anton Du Beke.
On Saturday, July 10, the couple (finally) made their relationship Instagram official. In corresponding posts, Higgins wrote “I’m yours” and Pernice wrote “You’re mine” accompanied by heart emojis and some seriously loved up photos of the pair embracing and posing for the camera. Higgin’s Love Island BFFs reacted to the post with love and support, with Joanna Chimondies writing “AH MA GAD love to see it!!” and Molly-Mae Hague adding “love you” plus all the heart emojis.
Pernice’s Strictly co-workers were as ecstatic about the news, with Neil Jones calling the couple “so cute” on Pernice’s post and requesting that they name their first child after him. Michelle Visage reacted to the news as well, simply commenting with three emojis: love heart, fire, and heart eyes.
Pernice split from The Pussycat Dolls’ Ashley Roberts in 2020, while Higgins announced her break-up with fellow Love Island contestant, Chris Taylor, last month. A fan-favourite, the couple said the decision to end their relationship was mutual.
In an Instagram post announcing their split, Higgins wrote: “From the minute we met each other we've been very close friends and that will never change. There is no regret. Life is about taking chances. We wanted to make this work, but we have realised we work better being friends.”
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