How Strictly’s Maisie Smith and HRVY dropped hints they’d fallen for each other for TWO months – but kept romance hidden

AFTER months of flirting, The Sun revealed yesterday that Maisie Smith and HRVY had finally shared their first kiss following Strictly Come Dancing's show-stopping final on Saturday.

Although the pair were sure to follow the show's strict social-distancing rules while taking part, they embraced their freedom and locked lips as soon as they could.

Which is no real surprise, considering fans spotted the chemistry sizzling between them as soon as they were announced as part of this year's line-up.

And although the pair lost out on the famous Glitterball Trophy, which was won by comic Bill Bailey, it appears they have found something even more special.

Maisie, 19, and HRVY, 21, have been flirting via social media and various interviews for weeks – with HRVY admitting that he slid into the EastEnders actress' DMs as soon as she was announced for Strictly.

He said at the time: "I messaged Maisie saying 'I guess you’re my competition this year then?'

"Obviously everyone’s my competition but I saw her on the Children in Need special and she’s really good."

But determined to take his teen rival down a peg or two, he cheekily added: "I DM’d her and said it was very average just so she wasn’t too big headed about it!"

And the flirtatious jibes only continued from there, with both stars trying to play hard to get with cheeky put-downs.

When HRVY shared a series of sexy topless snaps for his 2021 calendar to his Instagram page, Maisie quipped: "Omg you just reminded me my spaghetti’s almost done!"

The singer even called the beauty out on her "flirting", replying: "Stop flirting, you love spaghetti."

She hit back: "Prefer farfalle tbh."

Referencing HRVY's caption, which read: "Fun fact: the window blinds were open and a whole office floor in another building stood and clapped as I got undressed", Maisie then added: "I think they were clapping cos they mistook u for 2009 JB [ Justin Bieber ]."

Refusing to stop the playful roast, she commented once more: "The Rock been real quiet since u posted this."

Strictly producers were quick to pick up on the bubbling tension between the two, and The Sun revealed that bosses were keeping a particularly close eye on their youngest stars to make sure they didn't get too close.

Discussing Maisie and HRVY's very own "passion patrol", a source explained at the time: "Maisie and HRVY are being monitored by the producers after it’s become clear their connection could easily lead into a Strictly romance.

“They’re both young, single and hot and the thought is that the two of them could bring the other cast into risk if they break the guidelines and get closer.

"They have both been told, as have the rest of the cast, that kissing is off limits. Usually the Strictly cast are very tactile. Not in 2020.

“The cast have secretly named bosses the ‘passion patrol’.”

And while the youngsters abided by the rules as best as they could, they were still caught slipping up when they failed to social distance while at the studios.

Although they didn't get too close to one another – or make physical contact – insiders told us at the time that bosses had given them a talking to and reminded them of the strict health and safety rules.

They were also seen leaving rehearsal studios just minutes apart at 4.30am – without their dance partners – and regularly discussed one another in interviews.

Fuelling speculation of a brewing romance, HRVY called Maisie "beautiful" several times in recent weeks, with both he and the flame-haired star admitting they were enjoying "getting to know each other".

Last month, in an interview with The Sun, HRVY teased that he would pursue a relationship with Maisie as soon as Strictly was over.

He said: "It’s dancing first — then love and fun afterwards.

"Maisie’s an amazing girl, very beautiful, but for now I’m just going to concentrate on the dancing because I fancy getting to the final."

He also hinted that he wasn't in a rush to woo Maisie – perhaps because he knew that she was already keen.

The star said: "I'm sure me and Maisie will go out for dinner at some point.

"There's plenty of time for that. I think she's a really nice girl."

And in this instance, slow and steady evidently does win the race with the pair having their much-anticipated first snog this week – almost three months after their first meeting.

A production source told us that the two enjoyed a drunken smooch backstage at Elstree film studios after Saturday night's final.

They have been texting daily since and are planning on meeting in the new year if Covid restrictions are eased.

The insider added: "Maisie and HRVY has been brewing for weeks.

“The pair are so flirty together, and genuinely have a real laugh whenever they see one another.

“BBC bosses had explicitly warned against any romances, desperate to avoid any more ‘curse of Strictly’ stories.

“While, technically, they may not have been practising social distancing, they are both young and this was before Tier 4 restrictions came into play."

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