HER romance with Joey Essex might be red hot but Dancing On Ice’s skate siren Vanessa Bauer has remained typically cool about it . . . until now.
Sparks have flown between the two since they were first paired together for the ITV show last autumn and Joey has told how he fell for the German pro.
Now Vanessa has opened up for the first time as she prepares to skate in the grand final on Sunday — her fifth since joining the show six years ago.
She and Joey are up against drag Queen The Vivienne and Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson.
Asked how this series differs, Vanessa said: “This time I’ve got Joey with me. Obviously we have a bond like I didn’t have with any of my other partners. It’s going to be special.”
Vanessa has been linked to a number of her previous skate partners, including Wes Nelson, Jake Quickenden and Joe-Warren Plant.
But it is clear Joey has won her heart.
The reality star, who shot to fame on Towie, will dress as Roman god Hercules for his performance and Vanessa told him: “You’re going to look good.”
Joey had to dig deep for last week’s semi-final routine, which he dedicated to his late mum.
He broke down seconds before he was due to take to the rink.
Joey said: “It was extremely difficult. I was flooded with emotions before. It is still very painful.”
Vanessa added: “He pulled himself together for that performance, it was very remarkable.”
If Joey and Vanessa’s Hercules-themed skate is voted through to the next stage, they will perform their take on judges Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill’s Bolero, with the winner again decided by public vote.
- Tune in to the final on Sunday, 6.30pm, ITV1.
Viv wig perils
TAKING to the rink in full get-up has proved risky for The Vivienne.
The drag act, partnered by Colin Grafton, told HuffPost about the first main costume run and revealed: “The wig was all in my face, it was sticking on my lips, it was going in my eyes. It was horrendous.
“I’ve also had to go a bit smaller with my lashes, because they turn into windsails if they’re too big.
“And I haven’t been able to corset. That was a big thing for me.”
Nile in medal mishap
BOOKIES’ favourite Nile might want to think carefully about where he’d keep the trophy.
Afterall, he won bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016 but lost his medal.
Nile told me: “It was in the central pocket bit in my car for six months – I forgot it was there.
“On the way home from an event I put it in there and at the next event six months later, they were like, can you bring your medal? I was like, gosh, where is it?’.”
Nile has planned a showcase dance packed with tricks.
His skate partner Olivia Smart revealed: “There are going to be things that have not been seen before on the show but also in my competitive figure skating world.”
Game of Kat and mouse
STRICTLY Come Dancing’s Katya Jones will be in the new celebrity series of Hunted.
Confirming my story from last summer, the dancer is teaming up with her close pal, snowboarder Aimee Fuller, in a bid to evade the hunters.
The Stand Up 4 Cancer special will feature comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble, life-change experts Nik and Eva Speakman, YouTuber Saffron Barker and TV maths whizz Bobby Seagull.
Corrie actress Nicola Thorp and her actor boyfriend Nikesh Patel, who was in The Devil’s Hour, are also taking part.
The ten celebrities will attempt to stay off the radar and remain on the run for two weeks.
Meanwhile, a new crack team of hunters, featuring former police officers and Army personnel, try to track them down.
The series kicks off later this month on Channel 4.