X Factor’s James Arthur ‘slides into The Circle star’s DMs’ with flirty message

Natalya Platanova, the winner of The Circle, has claimed that James Arthur sent her flirty messages as he asked if she was "still taken" – despite reportedly rekindling his romance with Jessica Grist.

James, 34, and dancer Jessica called time on their nine-year on-off romance in 2021, before confirming their relationship was back on earlier this year.

However Natalya, who appeared on the Channel 4 reality show in 2021, took to Instagram to share a screenshot of the flirty messages the X Factor winner sent her.

In the screenshot, the Say You Won't Let Go singer said: "Wish we could go on a date," before asking: "Hey, still taken?"

A source told The Sun: "Natalya was flattered by James' interest in her but hasn't tried to pursue a relationship, as she is already in one and focused on training and mental health campaigning, which she is passionate about."

Alongside the screenshot, the military police officer penned: "Yup, can we feature as the next cute couple in a music vid?"

James started dating Jessica back in 2012 when she worked as a backing dancer on his series of The X Factor.

The couple confirmed their split last July, however, sparked reconciliation rumours earlier this year after Jessica posted a picture of the two on her Instagram.

Natalya was crowned winner of The Circle last year after she successfully catfished her rivals pretending to be a soldier named Felix.

Speaking about her win at the time, Natalya admitted her ability to impersonate a man had been one of the main contributors to her success.

She quipped: "I must play a good man!"

Natalya also explained why she had decided to come into The Circle as a catfish, claiming her rivals would be more likely to fall for the "perfect man".

"If I was me, I would have been gone. I had to be the perfect man. What I see every day at work is what I created," she said.

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