Strictly’s Giovanni ‘fuming’ as ex Maura smooches Joey Essex at Pride of Britain

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    Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice appeared gutted as his ex Maura Higgins got cosy with Joey Essex at the Pride of Britain Awards.

    Love Island star Maura, 31, was spotted sharing a steamy smooch with TOWIE hunk Joey at the glitzy event at London's Grosvenor House on Monday night (October 24).

    The pair were snapped locking lips in the lobby area just outside the Red Bar during the afterparty before they left the venue in the same taxi, with Maura shouting: "Joey!" to rally him amidst the swarm of paparazzi.

    READ MORE: Maura Higgins and Joey Essex enjoy romantic backstage smooch at Pride of Britain Awards

    Maura and Joey had clearly hit it off at the event as they hugged and chatted together in the foyer before leaning in to enjoy a moment of passion.

    But Maura's ex Giovanni didn't seem pleased at all as he was seen storming past the duo in the Red Bar in front of the celeb-filled room, which included the likes of show host Carol Vorderman and Strictly star Tyler West.

    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."

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

    Gio left the Pride of Britain bash alone shortly after, hailing down a black cab that took him away from the star-studded venue.

    Irish glam queen Maura looked stunning in a frilly yellow dress while Joey, who is training for ITV's Dancing on Ice, looked dapper in a black suit and red tie.

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    Maura and Giovanni enjoyed a whirlwind romance last summer before they split in October of that year, with fans baring witness to romantic dinner dates and outings at football games.

    The Italian dancer appeared to address the split on Instagram, where he denied any wrongdoing amid reports he had been using dating apps during their relationship.

    He 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."

    It seemingly ends speculation that Maura had started dating Love Island star Chris Hughes after the pair were spotted getting cosy at the National Television Awards.

    Daily Star has contacted Giovanni's representatives for comment.

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