Neil Jones demonstrates TikTok 'dance challenge'
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Neil Jones, 39, has revealed how Maura Higgins, 30, keeps his friend Giovanni Pernice, also 30, in check, as the Love Island star is “strong with him” and also able to give him “banter back”. The Strictly Come Dancing professional shared how the new couple is “really cute together” and he’s “happy” for their romance while speaking to Express.co.uk.
I was really happy for him
Opening up on whether he approves of his Strictly colleague, Giovanni’s relationship with the reality siren, Neil said: “They’re really cute. And I think I think Maura is a good one for him because she can give him the banter back and he needs that.
“He needs some he needs someone that can be strong with him as well.
“So yeah, I was always really happy for him,” he added.
However, Neil is yet to meet the couple in the flesh and only discovered they were officially together after an impromptu FaceTime call.
He continued: “I mean we FaceTime because he FaceTimes me, and this is when I kind of found out that they were together because I didn’t know they were together!”
The 39-year-old noticed during FaceTime that Giovanni was sitting in an Uber with a mystery lady who had a mask and sunglasses on as he struggled at first to identify her.
“She [Maura} had like sunglasses on and a mask because they were in a taxi at and I was like, ‘Say something’ and she wouldn’t say anything because she knew I’d know straight away it was her, in the end, she did, and I was like, ‘Why are you with him?’”
Maura and Giovanni first went public with their relationship at Sapphires, Blackpool’s Premier Drag Cabaret Show Bar at the beginning of July.
And he’s already introduced her to the cast and crew of the Him And Me show he’s starring in with new Strictly judge, Anton Du Beke.
A source told MailOnline: “Gio and Maura are very much a couple. Everyone knows he’s played the field in the past but he is serious about Maura.
“He’s smitten with her, they’ve become close really quickly and are spending a lot of time together in Blackpool.
“She’s become pals with all of the cast and crew of Him And Me too and they think she’s great. Maura has also met Anton and they got on brilliantly.”
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The dancer dated Corrie actress, Georgia May Foote, 30, when he was partnered with her on Strictly in 2015.
He also dated Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts when she was on Strictly in 2018.
While Maura was last in a relationship with fellow Love Islander Chris Taylor, the pair went public last November before splitting up in May this year.
Prior to that, she dated Curtis Pritchard, who the Irish beauty was coupled up with during the 2019 season of Love Island.
Not being camera shy about her blossoming romance, Maura shared a selection of loved-up snaps with her and Giovanni on Instagram this week.
The Love Island star looked flawless in the picture as she sizzled in a plunging black lace-trimmed playsuit while her dancer beau looked on in passionate style.
The doting post, in which Maura pointedly called Giovanni “my man” comes after his ex-girlfriend Katie McGlynn joined the Strictly Come Dancing line-up last week.
According to The Sun, Strictly bosses were reportedly eager to pair Giovanni and Katie, who were romantically involved 5 years ago, together for the competition but decided against it.
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