Maura Higgins & Giovanni Pernice moving 'really quickly' with romance

EXCLUSIVE: Love Island’s Maura Higgins and Strictly hunk Giovanni Pernice are moving ‘really quickly’ with new romance… as they’re seen together for the first time in Blackpool

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Strictly Come Dancing hunk Giovanni Fletcher has told pals how he’s smitten with Love Island beauty Maura Higgins – with the lovebirds getting close ‘very quickly’.

The pair were pictured for the first time enjoying a night out in a drag bar last week in Blackpool – where the Italian dancer is performing in a new show.

MailOnline can reveal that Giovanni and Maura, both 30, have spent several nights at a hotel in the bucket and spade resort.

Spotted: New couple Giovanni Pernice and Maura Higgins were seen for the first time together since new of their romance broke, as they spent time in Blackpool earlier in the week

And he’s 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 said: ‘Gio and Maura are very much a couple. Everyone know 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.’

The pair went public with their love for the first time last week at Sapphires, Blackpool’s Premier Drag Cabaret Show Bar.

Moving fast: Maura and her new beau are said to have become close ‘very quickly’ since dating

Italian hunk Giovanni, who was last year paired with Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh on Strictly, treated Maura to some of the legendary dance skills.

An onlooker who saw them in Blackpool on Thursday night said: “They turned up with a large group of friends. They’d booked a VIP area of the venue to themselves and everyone was having a good time, dancing and singing.

‘Maura and Giovanni joined in. They had clearly bubbled together as they were together all night and looked totally smitten with each other.

‘They spent about an hour away from the group playing pool. At one point they appeared to be having a bit of a row but it couldn’t have been that serious because they left together and looked very much like a couple.”

Reports last week claimed Giovanni was in the early stages of a relationship with Maura, who split from fellow Love Island star Chris Taylor, 30, earlier this year.

New romance: The Love Island star was spotted at Blackpool’s Opera House where Giovanni and his Strictly co-star Anton Du Beke performed the first night of their dance show, Him & Me 

On Tuesday, the reality beauty reportedly kissed Giovanni and wished him good luck ahead of his performance with Anton in their Him and Me show, which is drawing in crowds at the Blackpool Opera House.

During its run, Giovanni and new Strictly judge Anton are staying at Blackpool’s The Big Blue Hotel – which is close to where the pair enjoyed their night out last week.

Maura and Giovanni first sparked rumours they were an item after sharing very similar photos from inside Wembley Stadium last month.

They posted Instagram snaps with the same view while watching Italy vs Austria in the Euros on June 26.

She is said to be taking her romance with the Strictly Come Dancing star – who has previously dated Ashley Roberts and Georgia May Foote – ‘slowly’ because she’s ‘worried he could be a player’.

‘She loved seeing him in action’: Maura supported boyfriend Giovanni in Blackpool at the opening night of his new show before staying with the Strictly hunk at a hotel

But a source who spotted them last week added: ‘Maura shouldn’t worry too much – he looked totally head over heels with her and who can blame him. She’s stunning.’

Maura and Giovanni were also seen enjoying a staycation together in Cornwall last month, though they have attempted to keep their blossoming romance under wraps for as long as possible.

MailOnline contacted Maura and Giovanni’s representatives for comment.  

Following Thursday night’s show, Giovanni said on Instagram: ‘Opening night and I couldn’t be more proud of this production. Anton Du Beke and I are super ready for you UK.’ 

One shocked fan of Maura’s tweeted about meeting the star in Blackpool on Friday, writing online: ‘Why the duck have I met Maura Higgins in BLACKPOOL.’

‘It’s a mood’: Model Laura Stanford shared a picture on Instagram of Maura in Blackpool on Friday, as the two enjoyed the food and attractions that the Pleasure Beach has to offer 

Back on stage: Following Thursday’s show, Giovanni said on Instagram, ‘Opening night and I couldn’t be more proud of this production. Anton Du Beke and I are super ready for you UK’

While the pair is yet to publicly acknowledge their romance, Maura and Giovanni do follow each other on Instagram and the dancer has been showing his affection for the ex-Islander by liking her pictures. 

Maura’s ex-boyfriend Chris, who she split from in May, hasn’t posted on social media since the news broke of her new relationship with Giovanni. 

Giovanni’s ex-girlfriends include Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, TOWIE’s Jess Wright and soap actress Georgia May Foote, while Maura fell for ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard on Love Island in 2019.

Curtis’ brother AJ will know Giovanni well after starring with him on Strictly for years, before he left the BBC series in 2020.

Last year, while performing with his celeb partner Ranvir, the pair were rumoured to have grown close due to their chemistry, which was noted by the Strictly judges.  

Giovanni started dating Georgia after they were paired together on Strictly, while his ex-Ashley also competed on the series prior them becoming a couple. 

Connections: Giovanni’s exes include Ashley Roberts and Jess Wright, while Maura’s former flame Curtis Pritchard will know Giovanni through his brother AJ, who used to be on Strictly 

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