Giovanni Pernice stormed off as ex Maura Higgins snogged Joey Essex at awards

Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice is said to have "stormed off" after his ex-girlfriend Maura Higgins locked lips with none other than former TOWIE star Joey Essex.

Former Love Island star Maura, 31, and reality TV personality Joey, 32, were seen getting amorous at the Pride of Britain Awards, and even leaving together.

Giovanni, 32, and Maura dated for around four months last year, thought to be between July and October, before they went on to delete all traces of each other from Instagram.

As Maura and Dancing on Ice's Joey engaged in heavy flirting and kissing, their actions are not said to have gone down well with Giovanni.

An onlooker at the event told Daily Star: "Joey and Maura were walking through the afterparty hand in hand through the sea of celebs in the red room.

"The pair were smiling but Maura’s ex definitely wasn’t as he walked right past them in a huff."

They added: "The loved up pair were then standing in the foyer area with the hands entwined talking about how they were getting home."

Giovanni is said to have exited London's Grosvenor House alone, hailing himself a cab, whilst Maura and Joey were seen discussing how they would get home – eventually leaving in a cab together.

OK! has contacted Giovanni's representatives for comment.


Maura looked stunning at the event in a yellow dress with sheer panels on the bodice and a tutu-style skirt, whilst Joey looked dapper in a red tie and white shirt with a black suit.

Giovanni, who was recently knocked out of Strictly Come Dancing with partner Richie Anderson, took to Instagram last year to defend himself following his split from Maura.

Rumours had been swirling that the professional dancer had been on dating apps during the course of their relationship.

Denying any "wrongdoing", Giovanni wrote: "Firstly, great relationships with great people can come to a natural end. This has been the case for me recently/ There was absolutely no wrong-doing & this should be the end of any speculation."

Joey and Maura's evident chemistry comes shortly after the Dancing on Ice star told us he was "more single than ever".

"I'll put it out there – I'm more single than I've ever been in my life," he said earlier this month.

"But at the same time, I've been there and done that with having girlfriends and minor flings now.

"If I'm going to have a proper serious girlfriend in the spotlight now, and she's going to be welcomed into my family and my life, she has to be 'it'. She's got to be The One."

"I won't be doing that until I know it's going to be long-term. It would have to be the person that I know I'm going to have kids with," Joey added.

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