Strictly Come Dancing's Faye Tozer Slams Media Over Giovanni Pernice Romance Speculation

Exclusive: She admitted the rumours had been "tough" on her husband.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Faye Tozer has spoken out about tabloid speculation over the nature of her relationship with dance partner Giovanni Pernice.

The married Steps singer expressed her disappointment after pictures of her and Giovanni on a lunch date were published last month, showing him touching her face, which came with a written implication there was a romantic element to their meal.

However, speaking about the pictures for the first time, Faye blasted the tabloid press for “making such a Mills And Boon story” out of it.

Faye Tozer
Faye Tozer
Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images

“It’s such a shame,” she told HuffPost UK backstage at rehearsals for this weekend’s ‘Strictly’ semi-final.

“The whole thing with the tabloids is they’re trying to make a story and you’re just the fodder, unfortunately.”

Clarifying what exactly happened at the meal, Faye continued: “It was my birthday and we never go out for dinner - we always bring a packed lunch and crack on with training - and Giovanni said ‘I’m going to take you out for lunch’. Literally, he was just being a good mate and taking some spinach off my face, do you know what I mean?”

Faye with dance partner Giovanni Pernice
Faye with dance partner Giovanni Pernice
Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

After the pictures were published, Faye’s husband of nine years, Michael Smith, posted a witty retort on Instagram, with a picture showing him with spinach on his mouth, adding: “Where’s @pernicegiovann1 when you need him? Help me out.”

However, Faye admitted the rumours had been “tough” on Michael.

“Before I started ‘Strictly’, we had a whole family conference. Obviously I’ve had a lot of press stuff before and dealt with the tabloids, but my husband Michael hasn’t, because he wasn’t around in that Steps heyday,” she explained. “So we sat down and said if anything comes out, we’re all going to have it out in the open, discuss it and come to the horse’s mouth and keep everything clear.

“Luckily, Michael is an open-minded guy, he’s met Giovanni every Saturday, we’ve spent some time together and been out for dinners, and we’re absolutely fine. We were all just talking and making sure everyone is OK.

She added: “What’s tough for Michael is people are sending him press links and they just forget that’s a real person, and that’s our lives, but we’re all good. It’s a shame that just comes as part of it.”

This Saturday, Faye and Giovanni will be making a bid to secure a place in next week’s ‘Strictly’ final, taking on a Samba and an Argentine Tango.

And while Faye admitted she already has “post show blues” for when the series finishes, she is looking forward to a well-earned rest.

Faye and Giovanni topped the leaderboard with their Charleston last week
Faye and Giovanni topped the leaderboard with their Charleston last week

“I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard in my entire life!” she said.

“You see the 90 second clip everyone does, and their pretty outfit looking all glamorous - but oh my word, the work that goes into it. And I’ve worked pretty hard. It’s so intense because you’re trying to get all the hours in under the sun to keep everyone happy and please the judges, and the pressure you put on yourself.”

She added: “It’s been everything I ever imagined and more, but a harder graft.”

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ airs on Saturday at 6.35pm on BBC One.

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