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22 November 2018, 12:04
Phillip Schofield was branded as "cheeky" after grilling the former Pussycat Dolls singer on her romantic life.
Appearing on This Morning alongside professional dance partner Pasha Kovalev, singer Ashley Roberts was discussing her Strictly Come Dancing journey when host Phillip Schofield sprang a question about her reported romance with Giovanni Pernice.
Ashley hit out: "You cheeky little man! Giovanni and I are friends."
The 37-year-old performer explained : "Listen, I am really, really focused on the show. I am very passionate about being here, and it's about the dance for me.
"We are just friends, and I am single."
Last month, a show insider revealed that their 'spark' had become apparent to many cast and crew members working on the programme.
The source revealed to The Sun: "The spark between Ashley and Giovanni has become quite widely noticed among the crew – they just seem to really hit it off.
"After the show each week they’ve been heading out for drinks together in London and just hanging out and looking very cosy.
“It’s very early days but it looks like things are going well – and of course they’re both single so it’s all totally innocent fun.”
Giovanni, 28, is competing against Ashley with his celebrity partner, Steps singer Faye Tozer.
Ashley, 37, also defended herself against criticism that her chart-topping past has given her an unfair advantage over her rivals.
She explained: "With the Pussycat Dolls, it was dancing but it was a lot of booty-pop hip-hop stuff which was over 10 years ago.
"I think I still have the discipline of getting in there and getting focused, but it's such a different style of dance."