Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis meets Giovanni Pernice's family in his Sicilian hometown

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice are said to be very close after winning Strictly last year

Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

We watched in awe as Rose Ayling-Ellis tangoed her way to success last year, winning the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball, with professional dance partner Giovanni Pernice.

Now, as the new series and Strictly Come Dancing 2022 contestants have been confirmed, the actress has been pictured with Giovanni's family in Sicily - adding fuel to the fire that the Strictly curse has hit again.

The photos, which show Rose, who split with her long-term partner, Sam, just weeks ago, cuddling up to Giovanni and his sister at their home in Italy, have fuelled rumors that the pair are now dating, but it looks as though it could actually just be down to a brand new show, exciting!

The pictures of the former Eastenders actress, which the Sun published, show Rose cuddling up to her dance partner, who is pictured next to his sister Angela and Anton Du Beke.

The visit from Rose, to meet Giovanni's sister, comes as the Strictly dancer is said to be filming a travel show with Anton.

The former dance partners haven't been shy about revealing their appreciation for each other. When Rose and Giovanni won Strictly last year Rose took to social media to thank Giovanni - calling him the 'most wonderful human being ever' in a gushing post. 

In the Instagram post, Rose said, "He came into my world and brought the best out of me. I cannot thank him enough for all the work and effort to make me become the dancer that I am today." 

"Winning the Glitterball is the best gift I could ever give to Giovanni because he really deserves it. I am beyond proud of us. I never thought I would leave Strictly with a best friend for life, thank you Gio."

Rose and Giovanna have spent a lot of time together since the show ended, posting pictures of each meet-up on their Instagram accounts and turning up at awards shows together.

The Strictly partners won the show after scoring 40, a perfect 10 from all four judges, after performing a quickstep show dance called The Rose, to the Song, Love is an Open Door, from Frozen.

Rose was the first deaf dancer on the show, with fans dubbing her an ‘inspiration’ for making people ‘feel less alone’, while the actress has been tipped for huge success, just months after she left her role on soap Eastenders. 

The news comes after Rose split with her boyfriend of 7 years, Sam - she is now thought to be living alone, after moving out of their shared house. 

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.