After much speculation, Maura Higgins finally confirmed she was dating Strictly Come Dancing pro Giovanni Pernice earlier this month and although they’ve been kept apart as Maura begins her debut hosting role on Glow Up Ireland while Giovanni concludes his UK tour with fellow dancer Anton Du Beke, they’re clearly still going strong if their flirty Instagram comments are anything to go by.
After Giovanni posted a smouldering snap on the ‘gram, Maura couldn’t help but comment, “My man is FINE 🔥.”
But while the pair are loved-up at the moment, a source close to the Love Island star has claimed Maura is concerned that the dreaded Strictly curse could strike once again when Giovanni is paired up with a celebrity for the upcoming series of the BBC show.
A pal of the Irish reality star told The Sun, “Maura hasn't had to deal with the whole Strictly unveiling and all the whispering and talk about the Strictly curse.
"She's dreading it a little bit but, at the same time, her and Gio are rock solid and they are really, really happy.”
CHECK OUT Strictly Come Dancing affairs that gave us the shock of our lives
Strictly Come Dancing Affairs That Gave Us The Shock of Our Lives - slider use this one
Check out all the relationships hit by the Strictly Come Dancing curse...
1. Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole
Strictly's Camilla Dallerup revealed she suffered a 'mini death' when her fiancé Brendan Cole reportedly left her in 2004 for his Strictly dance partner Natasha Kaplinsky. Natasha and Brendan never confirmed they were romantically involved. Natasha said: "There was chemistry, of course, and I certainly fell in love with dancing, but I did not fall in love with Brendan."The pair have since married other people, whilst Camilla married former Hollyoaks star Kevin Sacre in 2010.
2. Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff
Just one week into his stint on Strictly in 2009 and Joe Calzaghe split with his girlfriend of five years, Jo-Emma Larvin. It wasn't long before the boxer and his professional dance partner Kristina Rihanoff embarked on a romance. Unfortunately it wasn't to last and they split four years later.
3. Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff
Following his 2013 stint on the show, rugby star Ben Cohen revealed he'd split from wife of 11-years Abby. He was then forced to deny he was romantically involved with former partner Kristina Rhianoff, after the pair were spotted linking arms on a London tube train.Ben and Kristina have since started a relationship and the pair welcomed their first child together in 2016.
4. Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
Things must have been awkward backstage at Strictly in 2007 when Flavia Cacace reportedly dumped her long-term dance partner and boyfriend of eight-years, Vincent Simone, for Eastenders actor Matt Di Angelo.At the time the actor told the Daily Mail: "The funny thing was the story did not start off as true, but the more you read it, the more you started to believe it and actually act on it."However, Flavia split from Matt in 2010 and went on to wed actor Jimi Mistry (who she met whilst partnered together on Strictly in 2010) in December 2013.
5. Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna
Former Hollyoaks actress Ali Bastian and her dance partner, Brian Fortuna, got together in 2009 after starring together on the show - but split a year later.
6. Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev
Rachel Riley surprised everyone when she revealed she was splitting from husband of just 15-months Jamie Gilbert during her time on Strictly in 2013. Less than a year later, the Countdown star announced she was dating her Strictly partner Pasha Kovalev - but insisted there was no overlap between the two romances.
7. Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev
Kara Tointon not only bagged the Strictly glitter ball in 2010 but also a hunky new boyfriend when she embarked on a romance with her Strictly partner Artem Chigvintsev.However, after three years of being together the pair split, and the former EastEnders actress told The Telegraph: "We are not together. We're fine, but we aren't a couple anymore."
8. Georgia May Foote and Sean Ward
When Georgia entered the competition in 2015 she was dating her Coronation Street co-star, Sean Ward. At the time she reassured everyone that she was in a happy relationship and she was just good friends with her dance partner Giovanni.However, shortly after the competition finished she ended her relationship with Sean and started a relationship with Giovanni.Unfortunately Georgia and Giovanni split before series 14 started. The former Coronation Street actress announced the news on Twitter, writing: "It is with great sadness we have decided to split up. There is nobody else involved."Although it was not an easy decision to make sometimes you realise that it is better to be friends and this is one of those times."We both have very busy work schedules for the rest of the year so we are both going to focus on our upcoming work projects and we wish each other well for the future."
9. Helen George and Oliver Boot
Helen George appeared on Strictly in 2015 and split from her husband Oliver Boot of three years. Were they hit by the Strictly curse?
10. Susanna Reid Dominic Cotton
Susanna Reid featured on Strictly during series 11. After the show finished, Susanna and her partner Dominic Cotton split.The TV presenter denied the end of their relationship being related to the Strictly curse, she told the Daily Mirror: "I think people think Strictly was bound in what happened. It wasn't."Obviously things have been challenging in my personal life but we are getting things sorted."
11. Louise and Jamie Redknapp
The whole world was shocked in 2017 when Louise and Jamie Redknapp confirmed they were divorcing after 19 years of marriage.The news came just months after she competed in Strictly Come Dancing 2016 alongside her professional dance partner Kevin Clifton.
12. Karen and Kevin Clifton
After months of speculation Strictly Come Dancing professionals Karen and Kevin Clifton confirmed they'd split.Despite breaking up they've insisted they'll remain friends. During Chris Evans' breakfast show, Kevin explained: "Privately we are not together anymore but professionally we are stronger than ever before. Dance is how we came together and is what glues us together."We're still the best of friends – we still have a lot of love and respect for each other. What we've found is that since we've been honest with each other it's unlocked our creativity."Karen added: "We have such strong chemistry and it's about entertaining and inspiring. At the end of the day it's about giving back to fans. We're feeling very positive."
13. Katya Jones and Seann Walsh
Everyone was shocked when photos of Seann Walsh and his professional dance partner Katya Jones were pictured together KISSING on the streets of London.While Katya is married to fellow Strictly professional Neil Jones, Sean is dating actress Rebecca Humphries.Since the news of the affair came to light, they've both apologised and blamed it as a "drunken mistake".
14. Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton
Stacey Dooley caused controversy when she went public with her romance with her dance partner Kevin Clifton. In March, Stacey and her ex-boyfriend Sam Tucknott split, with reports suggesting Sam was paranoid about Stacey's relationship with Kevin, after finding secret messages between the two on Stacey's phone. AWKWARD.
They added, “Maura knows dating a sexy male Strictly dancer comes with one down-side - and that is having to see him perform with another woman but it will take a bit of getting used to.
"One thing is for sure though Maura plans to be there supporting Gio when the shows kick off."
WATCH 'We've retired our house group chat': Love Island's Danny & Jordan unlock their phones!
Look! More news!
However, Maura won’t have to worry about the Strictly curse at all if she appears on the show herself. That’s something that could be possible now she’s dating Giovanni, according to recent reports.
A source told OK! magazine, “They do really like each other, but friends think their relationship could also be a boost for both of their careers.
“Maura’s dream is to be on Strictly. She really likes Giovanni, but she also knows this relationship could benefit her. They’re both very ambitious.”
Just imagine the scenes if Maura and Giovanni danced together.
You know what do, BBC bosses. Make it happen.