Strictly's Giovanni Pernice snubs loved ones for Christmas getaway with Ashley Roberts to Florida

But the family of Giovanni ­Pernice, who fell for competitor Ashley Roberts, probably aren’t feeling too blessed right now.

Because the hunky Italian dance pro has shunned his own loved ones this Christmas to head to Miami, Florida, to be with relatives of the ex-Pussycat Dolls singer.

An insider said: “This is a sign of just how heavily Giovanni has fallen for Ashley during the three to four months they were working in close ­quarters together.

“But because of the show’s punishing rehearsal and performance schedule they couldn’t spend as much time together as they might have liked.

“So now that the show is over, they’re virtually inseparable. That includes not wanting to be apart at Christmas, even if that means Giovanni has to make a ­sacrifice.”


The pair made it to the final even though they had been in the bottom two a number of times

This year’s competition saw ­Sicilian Giovanni partnered with former Step singer Faye Tozer, who made it to last Saturday’s final along with Ashley and her partner Pasha Kovalev.

Both pairs finished as runners- up to winners Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton.

But Giovanni won Ashley’s heart and the couple were seen kissing at the show’s wrap party.

It’s not the first time the Sicilian stud has dated a ­celebrity contestant.

In 2015 he started a relationship with dance partner Georgia May Foote, but months later the Corrie actress announced their split.

I wonder if Giovanni and Ashley will be together long enough for her to visit his family in Italy next year.

Soapbox

FAITH DINGLE is hatching a plan to get ­Rodney out of Pollard’s house in Emmerdale – she has the bright idea of seducing him.

Pollard later walks in on the pair in an intimate clinch.

Meanwhile, Dan insists that Daz admits he was the culprit for the hit-and-run, so his daughter won’t take the fall.

It remains to be seen whether he will do the right thing.

In Hollyoaks, Mercedes’ husband may have just been murdered, but she doesn’t waste any time moving on.

Sylver and his cousin ­Mercedes end up kissing after the beauty gets agitated that Russ’s body hasn’t been released.

And Breda is happy when Jack gives her an early Christmas present – a dog.

So ice to meet you

JAYNE Torvill and Christopher Dean look delighted with the actors who will portray them in ITV’s Christmas Day drama charting their career.

The Bolero legends, above with Will Tudor and Poppy Lee Frair, gave their blessing to the biopic after the creators consulted them throughout.

But the duo weren’t quite so complimentary about Towie’s Gemma Collins, who said she wanted to emulate them when she competes next month on ITV’s Dancing On Ice.

Christopher, who is a judge with Jayne on the ITV show, laughed: “Give her 40 years, maybe.” That’s got to hurt more than ­falling face first on to the ice – which I’m sure Gemma will.



must watch

WHAT? Bear’s Mission With Gareth Southgate, 9pm, ITV.

WHY? Adventurer Bear Grylls takes the England football ­manager into the wilds of Dartmoor to test his strength, skill and spirit – as well as discuss his life and career.


No Ender new soap arrivals

ALBERT Square looks like it’s going to be a much busier place soon, with EastEnders revealing a cluster of exciting arrivals.

Lola Pearce, played by Danielle Harold, makes a spectacular return to the soap next year as the wild child who famously had a baby with Ben Mitchell.

Meanwhile, a new member of the Taylor clan is joining the show.

Chantelle – the much talked about daughter of Karen Taylor and Mitch Baker – will finally make her debut, though the actress playing the part has yet to be announced.

There’ll be double trouble when the Ahmed sisters – Iqra and Habiba, inset above – arrive.

Iqra, played by Priya Davdra, and Habiba, played by Rukku Nahar, make their Walford debut early next year.

 

Bizbit

FANS of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity have taken to social media to push for show star Emily Attack to become the new team captain on ITV2’s Celebrity Juice. The move comes after Fearne Cotton quit the role.

Kirstie's rival for Beeb bee

FIRST it pinched The Great British Bake Off from the BBC. And now it looks like Channel 4 has another beloved Beeb show in its sights.

It has enlisted Kirstie Allsopp to create a textile-themed TV competition which is remarkably similar to BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee.

Previously fronted by Strictly’s Claudia Winkleman, the BBC contest will return next year for a fifth series, with comedian Joe Lycett hosting it once again. But close behind will be the new Channel 4 show, fronted by Location, Location, Location host Kirstie, who has also developed a reputation for her arts and crafts shows.

It’s a move which is likely to annoy Love Productions, which makes Bake Off as well as Sewing Bee.

Who knew needlework and pastry could prove so controversial?

Bizbit

GOOD Morning Britain host Piers Morgan was diagnosed with bronchitis, laryngitis and sinusitis after the show’s medic, Dr Hilary Jones, told him he was “over the worst” of his infection.

 

It still didn’t silence Piers


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