They’ve become one of the most popular pairings in Strictly Come Dancing’s 17-year long TV reign, and even made history with the earliest 40 in the show's run.
Now professional dancer Giovanni Pernice has confessed he would have been ‘jealous’ if EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis had been partnered with someone else.
Speaking about their memorable time on the show during a press conference with OK! and other outlets, Giovanni, 31, sang the 26-year-old’s praises, saying their time together on the show had been nothing but ‘joyous.’
The Italian star also opened up on their close relationship and how he’d no doubt found a ‘friend for life.’
Gio revealed: “I always say I’m the one who’s privileged to do this journey with Rose.”
“If she was doing it with somebody else, I probably would have been quite jealous. Big time.”
The dancer continued to thank Rose for her dedication in the training room, and said he was certain that their bond would remain even after the show finishes.
He explained: “For me, the highlight has been spending every day in the studio with Rose because the positivity and the happiness that I had every single day for 14 weeks has been joyful.”
“The way she really wants to learn the dance, the way she really wants to get the dance right on a Saturday night is fantastic and rewarding.”
The Strictly star, who joined the BBC show in 2015, Giovanni also admitted that it’s the first time that he hasn’t wanted the show to end because he’s loved their partnership so much.
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The dancer explained: “It’s the first time I say I don’t want this [competition] to finish. I think with Rose it’s just been lovely.”
“I’m a very, very proud teacher but, more than anything, I’m happy that I’ve discovered a friend for life for sure.”
And it seems the feeling is entirely mutual, as Rose, best known as Albert Square’s Frankie Lewis, credited Gio with making the experience simply unforgettable.
Asked about her highlights in the competition, Rose replied: “There’s so many – spending time with Gio in the studio, learning to dance and then on Saturday night when it goes really well when we’ve spent a whole week on it.”
She added: “I’m going to miss it so much, and spending time with Gio every day.”
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