Alesha Dixon's boyfriend has 'given up' as BGT judge rejects his many proposals

By Verity Sulway

Alesha Dixon has been in a relationship with Azuka Ononye, also known as AZ, for nine years - a lifetime in the showbiz world.

But despite this, the couple have absolutely zero plans to walk down the aisle - though it's not that dancer and model Azuka hasn't tried.

Speaking about the possibility of marriage, Alesha told The Sun 's Fabulous magazine: "He's given up on that. We just got with the flow. It's not really something we've discussed."

Alesha also denied rumours that the couple have already tied the knot in secret after fans spotted a ring on Azuka's finger.

"It's not a wedding ring! It's just a ring I bought him for his birthday," she insisted.

"We're not married! Look, we'll never say never, but... I would never completely rule out anything, but it's dependent on a lot of things.

"And there are times when I think, 'Nope, not a hope in hell!'" she teased.

But Alesha admitted in a later interview that AZ has actually proposed to her several times - but she always says no.

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However, it's not because she doesn't want to get married, she just has a specific idea in her head of how she wants him to propose, and he isn't living up to it.

"AZ has asked me to marry him loads of times now," she told The Sun.

"He's always doing it, but I always say no. It's like he's joking around.

"I definitely want to marry him. I'm sure about that."

Azuka worked as a backup dancer for the likes of Tinie Tempah and for Alexandra Burke on The X Factor, and he and Alesha initially began their relationship as just friends.

"I was kind of playing hard to get for about a year," she told Jonathan Ross.

"And then I had the foot operation and I couldn’t walk and he was literally sleeping on the floor looking after me every day.

"I was just looking at him thinking, 'That is for better or for worse isn’t it.' I looked a state, he was sleeping on the floor because I was on the couch, I couldn’t even get up the stairs.

"If he can carry me to the toilet then he’s a keeper," she joked.

The couple welcomed their first daughter, Azura Sienna Ononye, in October 2013, and their second, Anaya, in August 2019.

Alesha recently opened up on how she escapes "mum guilt" due to her busy career and pop comeback this year with her first single in five years.

"My daughters have been a huge inspiration when it comes to me going back into the studio and releasing new music," she told The Mirror.

"I can't tell my kids to go for their dreams if I'm sitting back in fear and not going for my own.

"I want to lead by example so I need to fight for what I love."

Alesha, who turns 43 on Thursday, continued: "My children motivate me to keep going and be the best person I can be.

"They obviously see me on TV working on various shows but I want them to see me doing my main passion which has always been music and performing.

"I want them to see that’s where mummy started.

"Music is what gave me all the other amazing opportunities I’ve had in my life and I would hate for them to not see me on stage."

Alesha found fame in girl-group Mis-Teeq back in 2001 when she was just 21.

She left the band to embark on a solo career, but after spending over a year working on her debut album, Fired Up, she was dropped from her label.

Writing in The Big Issue's Letter To My Younger Self, Alesha said she "literally thought she had lost everything" .

"My biggest, riskiest decision was to leave Mis-Teeq. I had been in a girl group for eight years. That was my comfort zone," she penned.

"But there was an instinct, a feeling towards the end of my time in the group that I wasn't happy.

"And I needed to leave. I was only 25, I hadn't paid off a mortgage, I still had bills to pay. So it was a major, major decision.

"I signed a new record deal and spent a year-and-a-half making an album that the record company shelved, then found myself out of a deal. So I was like, oh my god, what have I done?"

Alesha said she would tell her younger self to "have faith" after speaking about the lowest ebb in her life.

She added: "There I was, sitting in my house with no record deal, having pretty much lost all the money I'd ever worked for, and some other things that were going on in my life that have been very publicly documented.

"I literally thought I'd lost everything. And then the universe just said, 'That's what you thought, but here we go. You're about to enter into this new phase of your life'.

"And then I had a hugely successful solo record and had this incredible journey when in 2007 I became a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing and I won.

"And that took me on to becoming a judge on the show. The biggest risk brought the biggest pay-off."

Alesha was married to MC Harvey from So Solid Crew from 2005-2006, until they split amid rumours he had been unfaithful.

During an appearance on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Alesha admitted she felt "lost and empty" when her marriage fell apart, and didn't eat for days.

But all those years on, Alesha forgave Harvey and even showed up to pay her respects at his stepfather Ray's funeral in 2017.

"Four years ago my stepfather died, and she came to my mother’s to pay her respects with her partner. Isn’t that unbelievable?" Harvey said on the Anything Goes with James English podcast.

"When my stepfather died the whole of South London was in my mum's house; my mum knows all the bad boys, she's a youth worker, so was he, so they were very connected with the community.

"When Alesha turned out with her partner, I went to the boys, 'Look after them, show them love', and the boys were like, 'One hundred percent.' That’s because she was here for Ray (his stepfather), and that within itself is respect."

He also said Alesha had splashed out on a £500 flower display for the funeral car.

"Alesha then rang me, six months before I met my wife, and she said:, ‘I just want you to be happy, Harv,'" he continued,

"I apologised to her about what happened in the past, we had a mature conversation. We talked about our kids, I said to her, ‘Your kids are beautiful.’ She said, ‘Your kids are beautiful.’"

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