Ever since Strictly Come Dancing partnered Coronation Street actress Ellie Leach, 22, and pro dancer Vito Coppola, 31, for the 2023 series, fans have been quick to notice an evolving and often electric chemistry between the pair.
The talented duo, who have topped the leaderboard twice in recent weeks, are among one of the strongest contenders to win the show and lift the Glitterball trophy thanks to their impressive dance moves and clear bond.
However, viewers at home are convinced that romance may have already blossomed between the pair, with former contestant Amanda Abbington, who left the show last month, even hinting that this was the case as she referred to the pair as a “beautiful couple” at the weekend.
Although the couple have yet to confirm any romance for themselves, there are plenty of clues that a romance has been unfolding before our very eyes.
Here, we take a closer look at all the subtle signs and hints that Ellie and Vito are now a couple.
From day one of their partnership, there was clear affection between the pair, with Ellie unable to hide her excitement after being paired with Vito in September ahead of the live shows.
Describing the dancer as the "most genuine and loving person ever, ever" Ellie even fondly remarked that he gives "the best cuddles”.
Vito himself also appeared to be impressed by his partner choice this year, as he toldThe Sunthey both jumped for joy when they found out they would be working together.
He gushed: "We ran to each other like a slow mo running like in the movie, I was so happy. We jump, well, she jumped on me, and we twisted and we make the first lift of our Strictly journey already."
'Cosy' public appearances
The pair were also spotted looking very cosy together while appearing on This Morning back in October, as they sat with their arms around each other laughing and joking in what many fans thought was a hint that the pair were more than just dance partners.
During the interview, show host Rochelle Humes told Ellie that she was “one to watch” prompting the star to proudly beam as Vito wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a cheerful hug.
This clear tactile display of affection prompted many Strictly viewers to comment on just how close the pair had gotten in their short time together.
One fan said: "They look very cosy,” before another added: "They are incredibly close, his arm around Ellie."
Meanwhile a third mused: "I wonder why they are sitting so close together…."
One classic couple’s cliché, is for lovers to wear matching outfits, something it appears Vito and Ellie have adopted in recent weeks, hinting at a clear connection between the dance partners.
This was especially apparent during a recent appearance on Strictly’s It Takes Two, when the pair were both seen sporting matching black turtle neck jumpers, hinting that they had coordinated their outfits prior to their interview.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter to comment on the unusual detail, one viewer noted: "Ellie and Vito keep turning up to #ItTakesTwo in the same clothes. I'm expecting the paparazzi shot of them kissing any day now."
Another fan said: "Ellie and Vito in their adorable matching outfits again," meanwhile a third added: "Think Ellie & Vito must have texted each other. More or less dressed the same.”
Social Media posts
Ellie herself has also fuelled romance rumours after she told Vito she loved him on a social media post praising her performance.
Vito first made the post as he celebrated the pairing’s progression to yet another week in the competition by sharing a snap of the pair together. He then captioned it: "To you my Lulú.. I am so proud of you and you know how much I believe in you so just keep going and keep working hard as you are already doing every day.”
Ellie then responded by commenting: “Love you” multiple times, alongside a string of love hearts.
The biggest clue for a romance between the pair appears to have come from Amanda Abbington however, as she appeared to “confirm” their romance on social media, by referring to them as a couple, while commenting on a photo.
The revelation came after Ellie shared a sweet snap of herself and Vito at the weekend, after they successfully received enough public votes to avoid the dance off and progress to week eight of the competition.
Lots of Ellie’s showbiz pals and loved ones were quick to comment on the post, as they congratulated the pair for their success so far, but it was Amanda’s comment in particular which drew the attention of fans.
She wrote: "Stunning. So proud of the both of you. You are the most beautiful couple!," with the comment being liked by hundreds of people.
However, despite this “confirmation” of a romance however, neither Ellie nor Vito have publicly confirmed they are dating.
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