Debbie McGee details ‘electricity’ between her and Giovanni Pernice after Strictly smooch

Debbie McGee discusses Paul Daniels on Celebrity Mastermind

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Debbie McGee, 63, has said her partnership with Giovanni Pernice, 31, for Strictly Come Dancing felt “natural”. The widow of magician Paul Daniels and the Italian dancer made it to the finals back on the 2017 series of the show and even shared a widely discussed smooch.

Talking about her time on the show with Giovanni, Debbie shared: “I made a lifelong friend in Giovanni, there is a special relationship there…

“There wasn’t a relationship like that, but there was – and still is – that electricity between us. 

“We’ve stayed in contact all the time since and whenever I see him, we go into the Waltz hold and I smile because it just feels natural that I should be in the Waltz hold with him,” she told Huffington Post.

It comes after pair shared a cheeky kiss while performing a Paso Doble on the show.

While the smooch caused a bit of a stir, Debbie believes magician Paul, who passed away in March of 2016, would have been a fan.

Speaking on This Morning to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby at the time, she said: “He would have loved it.

“And the fact that I have caused – or seemed to have caused – this furore with the kiss on Saturday night, he just loved show business and that was real show business. 

“I know he will be looking down on me and thinking, ’Ok, yeah.’ He would have been happy.”

And when Holly asked if the kiss with the hunky 31-year-old was planned, she responded: “No!”

“In rehearsal, I just gently caressed his cheek and gave him a gentle push [during that part of the dance], but actually I didn’t really realise until I watched it back how hard I pushed him, ” she said.  

“It was a bit of a smacker, he was so great.”

Her performance, which also involved her doing the splits, won serious praise from the judges.

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Judge Craig Revel Horwood told her: “Whatever Giovanni has done to you darling it’s certainly working because you’re dancing like a 20-year-old out there.”

While Darcey Bussell said: “You are on fire. Oh my! So flexible – the splits. Keep it up, keep it up because you’re going to go a long way!”

Debbie, who came second on the leaderboard after the routine, once again praised her partner for her success.

She told Phil and Holly: “He was a brilliant teacher. Everyone has gone on about the kiss.

“On the first day, I could only get about halfway. He just made me stretch every day because he knew I had the potential.”

Playing down her ballet training in the past she said: “It’s so different to ballroom and Latin.

“I danced over 30 years ago. It would be like asking a footballer to do something else 30 years later. 

“It’s a completely different muscle thing.”

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