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Wales Online
Wales Online
Laura Armstrong & Steven Smith

Helen Skelton and Strictly dancer Vito Coppola grow close after they 'bonded' on tour

Helen Skelton has grown close to one of Strictly's pro dancers on tour, it has emerged. A source has revealed that Helen, 39, has been "bonding" with Vito Coppola on the Strictly tour.

Mum-of-three Helen made it to the final of last year's contest with partner Gorka Marquez. She has been single since she split from rugby star husband Richie Myler, 32, just months before the 2022 show started. Vito also made the 2022 final, dancing with singer-songwriter Fleur East, reports the Mirror.

A source said: “Helen and Vito were good friends during Strictly, but really bonded on tour. There were two buses for the cast – the party bus and the quiet bus.

“They spent a lot of time chatting on the quiet bus and getting to know each other. They have a lot in common – a love of the outdoors, for example.

“Between shows they also spent time together one-on-one, like going for coffee, just the two of them. Then, if the whole group went for dinner, they would sit together, deep in conversation.”

But it seems the pair want to keep their closeness under wraps. The source added: “If anyone pulled out a phone and started filming, Helen would move away from Vito. She didn’t want to be captured in the background.”

Helen’s eight-year marriage to Leeds Rhinos scrum half Richie ended last year, soon after she gave birth to their third child, Elsie. Richie then began a relationship with Stephanie Thirkhill, 32, and they are now expecting a baby.

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Helen has said dancing on the BBC show helped her feel “liberated”. She has previously admitted: “I’ve found my confidence on the dance floor.”

Vito joined the show last year and quickly impressed in sizzling routines with the likes of fellow pro Nadiya Bychkova. He then danced his way straight into the final with Fleur, 35.

When the show ended last year, Helen sent the pair an Instagram message with two heart emojis. She has also shared a rare photo of herself on tour with Vito, along with pro dancer Carlos Gu, tour host Janette Manrara and fellow celeb contestants Molly Rainford and Will Mellor.

The source said: “Helen had a great time on tour. It was a fantastic group of people and they had lots of laughs. After it ended [last month], she went straight home to her kids then flew to Portugal for a family holiday.

“Vito went to Italy and then to Limassol, Cyprus, for some teaching sessions there. But they’re hoping to catch up when he’s back in the UK.”

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