Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice reportedly ended his relationship with Love Island's Maura Higgins after a few weeks of dating, fearing it could jeopardise his chances of winning the popular dance competition. The 31-year-old pro dancer was paired with EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, 26, in the 2021 series of the BBC show, which they went onto win.

Giovanni and Maura, 30, were first linked back in June when they were seen together at a UEFA European Football Championship match. However, Giovanni went onto end his romance with Maura - and reportedly did so to focus on his pursuit of the Glitterball Trophy.

A source told new! magazine back in 2021: "Giovanni is taking this really seriously. He's got a great relationship with Rose. They are doing incredibly well and getting so much love.

Maura Higgins and Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni was previously in a relationship with Love Island star Maura Higgins back in 2021

"Nobody understands what Strictly is like it's such hard work. All your time is taken up and Maura wasn't given any time by Giovanni.

"You're not allowed many people in the studio and she wasn't given an invite. The writing was on the wall."

The insider also confirmed at the time that it was Giovanni who decided to end things with Maura. They revealed: "Giovanni is so into it this year he thinks this is his chance to win Strictly. He's got such an amazing chemistry with Rose, and Maura couldn't handle it. He didn't want anything ruining it and the split has come from him, not her."

The reported move seemed to pay off, with Giovanni and Rose taking home the Glitterball Trophy that year. They made it to the final alongside Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and presenter AJ Odudu, however AJ had to withdraw one day before the final due to an injury.

Giovanni and Maura confirmed their split back in October 2021, after the pair deleted all pictures of one another from their Instagram pages. Giovanni released a statement to his story, stating that there was "no wrong doing" that led to their break-up.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice won Strictly Come Dancing back in 2021

"Hey guys - I hope everyone had a great Monday," the star began. "Going into another wonderful training week - thank you so much for your amazing messages & your support this weekend.

"I get to live my dream every single day because of you - so thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I wanted to say a couple of things…"

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

The Strictly Come Dancing pro is rumoured to have quit Strictly Come Dancing this month, with reports stating that he'll be signing up for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!. However, the BBC is yet to confirm whether Giovanni has left the show.