Love Island’s Maura Higgins and Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice are moving ‘really fast’ with new romance
Strictly Come Dancing Giovanni Pernice has told his friends he’s in love with Love Island beauty Maura Higgins and the lovebirds are getting closer “really quickly.”
The pair were first pictured enjoying a night out at a drag bar last week in Blackpool – where the Italian dancer is performing in a new show.
MailOnline can reveal that Giovanni and Maura, both 30, spent several nights in a resort hotel.
Spotted: New couple Giovanni Pernice and Maura Higgins were first seen together since their romance broke up, while spending time in Blackpool earlier in the week
And he introduced him to the cast and crew of the Him And Me show in which he stars with new Judge Strictly, Anton Du Beke.
A source said: “Gio and Maura are really a couple. Everyone knows he has played on the pitch in the past, but he takes Maura seriously. He is in love with her, they have become very close very quickly and spend a lot of time together in Blackpool.
“She’s become friends with all the cast and crew of Him and me too and they think she’s awesome. Maura has also met Anton and they get along wonderfully.
The couple first went public with their love last week at Sapphires, Blackpool’s premier drag cabaret show bar.
Things move fast: Maura and her new beau would have become close “very quickly” since they were dating
Italian hunk Giovanni, who last year paired with Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh on Strictly, gave Maura some of the legendary dance skills.
A spectator who saw them in Blackpool on Thursday evening said: ‘They arrived with a large group of friends. They had reserved a VIP area of the room and everyone was having fun, dancing and singing.
“Maura and Giovanni joined them. They had clearly bubbled together as they had been together all night and looked totally in love with each other.
“They spent about an hour away from the group playing pool. At one point they seemed to be arguing a bit, but it couldn’t be that bad as they left together and looked a lot like a couple.
Reports last week claimed Giovanni was in the early stages of a relationship with Maura, who split from Love Island star Chris Taylor, 30, earlier this year.
New romance: The Love Island star was spotted at the Blackpool Opera House where Giovanni and his Strictly co-star Anton Du Beke performed on the first night of their dance performance, Him & Me
On Tuesday, the reality beauty reportedly kissed Giovanni and wished him luck before his performance with Anton in their show Him and Me, which draws crowds to the Blackpool Opera House.
During his run, Giovanni and new Judge Strictly Anton stay at the Big Blue Hotel in Blackpool – which is close to where the couple spent their evening last week.
Maura and Giovanni first sparked rumors they were an object after sharing very similar photos of inside Wembley Stadium last month.
They posted Instagram snaps with the same view watching Italy vs Austria at Euro on June 26.
She is said to be taking her romance with the Strictly Come Dancing star – who once dated Ashley Roberts and Georgia May Foote – “slowly” because she is “worried he might be a player.”
‘She loved to see him in action’: Maura supported her boyfriend Giovanni in Blackpool on the opening night of her new show before staying with the track Strictly in a hotel
But a source who spotted them last week added: “Maura shouldn’t be too worried – he looked totally crazy about her and who can blame him. She’s gorgeous.
Maura and Giovanni were also seen enjoying a stay in Cornwall together last month, although they tried to keep their blossoming romance a secret for as long as possible.
MailOnline has reached out to representatives for Maura and Giovanni for comment.
After the Thursday night show, Giovanni said on Instagram: ‘Opening night and I couldn’t be more proud of this production. Anton Du Beke and I are super ready for you in the UK.’
A shocked Maura fan tweeted about meeting the star in Blackpool on Friday, writing online: “Why the duck did I meet Maura Higgins at BLACKPOOL.”
‘It’s a mood’: Model Laura Stanford shared a photo on Instagram of Maura in Blackpool on Friday, as the two enjoyed the food and attractions Pleasure Beach has to offer
Back on stage: After Thursday’s show, Giovanni said on Instagram: ‘Opening night and I couldn’t be more proud of this production. Anton Du Beke and I are super ready for you UK’
While the couple have yet to publicly acknowledge their romance, Maura and Giovanni follow each other on Instagram and the dancer has shown his affection for the ex-Islander by liking his photos.
Maura’s ex-boyfriend Chris, whom she split in May, hasn’t posted on social media since announcing her new relationship with Giovanni.
Giovanni’s ex-girlfriends include Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, TOWIE’s Jess Wright and soap opera actress Georgia May Foote, while Maura fell in love with ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard on Love Island in 2019.
Curtis’ brother AJ will know Giovanni well after starring with him in Strictly for years, before leaving the BBC series in 2020.
Last year, while performing with his famous partner Ranvir, the couple reportedly grew closer due to their chemistry, which was noted by Judges Strictly.
Giovanni started dating Georgia after being matched on Strictly, while her ex-Ashley was also on the show before becoming a couple.
Connections: Giovanni’s exes include Ashley Roberts and Jess Wright, while Maura’s former flame Curtis Pritchard will know Giovanni through his brother AJ, who was on Strictly.