Strictly winner Jay McGuiness denies relationship with married dance partner Aliona Vilani
It is the perennial rumour swirling around the Strictly Come Dancing studios: when will the so-called "curse of Strictly" hit the latest batch of contestants?
And this year appears to be no exception, as winner Jay McGuiness sets the record straight after hints he has become close to his dance partner Aliona Vilani.
Photographs of McGuiness and Vilani, who is married, set tongues wagging once again, showing them leaving the final hand-in-hand and embracing.
But speaking on Monday morning, the boyband singer insisted the pair were "best friends", saying they had only pretended to be romantic as part of their dances.
He disclosed the pair had celebrated their win with his brother, sister-in-law, and Vilani's husband, Vincent Kavanagh, at the Ritz this weekend.
Speaking on ITV's Lorraine, he said: "When you dance with someone you have to create romance sometimes and people then want to see that almost.
"But a lot of the time the papers create it and that sort of thing, but I think no matter what I say people will write whatever they want to write.
“We did something that so few people do together, I genuinely will treasure it forever.
"Honestly, you spend that many hours together you talk about every single thing, like the most trivial and the most pretentious, literally everything.
"No matter what happens you get a best friend out of Strictly.”
The pair walked away with the Strictly glitterball on Saturday night, proving the fans' favourite despite getting lower scores on the night than rivals Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton.
McGuiness told the Radio 2's Chris Evans show he was feeling "pretty chirpy" after his win, disclosing he had celebrated by staying up until "4 or 5 in the morning" at the wrap party, followed by "me and Ali and both our families were eating crisps in the kitchen".
"I feel very merry right now," he added, saying he had put the glitterball "on a dresser in my living room".