Neil Jones says Giovanni Pernice ‘secretly loves’ romance rumours after Ranvir speculation

Neil Jones shows off his dance moves for Compete App

Strictly Come Dancing partners Giovanni Pernice, 30, and Ranvir Singh, 43, laughed off rumours they could be more than friends after striking up a close friendship and getting up-close in some of their routines last year. But, while some may get sick of such rumours, Neil Jones, 38, said his fellow pro dancer “secretly loves” the attention.

Giovanni gets it every year, he secretly loves it

Neil Jones

When asked about dancers and contestants being linked to romance rumours on the show, he exclusively told “You’re always going to have people saying things, we dance up close together, we’re good friends, and you even get fans who are like, ‘But oh I do hope you get together’ and it’s just one of those things that happen.

“You turn around and just smile and get on with what you’re doing.

“Giovanni gets it every year, he secretly loves it.

“It’s his style of dancing, if he was going to dance with me, he’d do exactly the same.”

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He added of speculation surrounding Giovanni and Ranvir: “I don’t even pay attention to what they’re saying but, it’s just all the same. 

“Giovanni is so professional in what he does and Ranvir was so nice to me, you can just see her growing.

“Giovanni is good because he always takes care of his partners, he’s always making sure that they’re good and they’re happy.

“He builds up their confidence which is great, so I’m sure, when you see someone doing something like that, there’s always going to be a rumour.”

Ranvir previously said of any potential romance with Giovanni: “We both find the idea that we might get hit by the curse very funny – he is a 30-year-old man!”

She added of their up-close routines to The Mirror: “The dances are all about being romantic and, of course, we have to make them convincing.”

Neil hit the headlines back himself when he danced with newly single Alex Scott back in 2019, following his split from wife Katya Jones.

The pair laughed off claims they were anymore than friends and have since remained close post-Strictly.

At the time, he told Hello! Magazine: “There’s nothing on our minds but the show – we don’t have time to think about anything else.

“I’m single but I haven’t even thought about dating. Coming out of a long-term relationship I’m just focusing on Strictly.”


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Elsewhere, Neil has been working on numerous projects in lockdown following his recent split from girlfriend Luisa Essa.

The dancer is now focusing on keeping his fans entertained with free lockdown dance lessons and a brand new dance challenge with Compete app, which is available to download from the Apple store.

Those keen to get involved will have the chance to win a cash prize and a dance lesson with Neil, when safe to do so post-covid

He said of the project: “Compete is a brand new app and it’s really fun and easy to use, it’s not just for dancing, there’s so many different things.

“What’s great is someone gives a challenge, so I’m currently giving a dance challenge and its’s for people to either copy the moves or come up with new moves themselves and they post it online.

“And then what happens is, all of the users can come on there and it’s their choice, do they do the challenge or, in a way, become a judge.

“So they’re voting for who they feel did the best challenge.”

You can join in with Neil’s free 15 minute daily classes at 10am on his Instagram @mr_neiljonesofficial and his weekly Urban Ballroom classes via Zoom on @urbnyz.

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