Joey Essex shares cosy photo with Vanessa Bauer ahead of Dancing on Ice semi-final

Joey Essex looked happier than ever in a recent selfie with his Dancing On Ice partner Vanessa Bauer, as the pair continue to fuel romance rumours.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star, 32, has been competing in the 2023 series with professional skater Vanessa, 26, and the duo's close friendship hasn't gone unnoticed on the ITV show.

With the Dancing On Ice semi-final set to take place on Sunday 5 March, Vanessa and Joey have been training hard and recently shared a cosy selfie together on Instagram as they rehearsed.

"Taking it all in," Vanessa captioned the photo, which showed her and Joey beaming for the camera.

Vanessa and Joey have continued to fuel romance rumours since being partnered together on DOI, and while neither have confirmed the romance speculation they have not denied it either.

Romance rumours first began in November last year when Joey and Vanessa attended the TV Choice Awards together, with the latter donning a very Cinderella-esque dress.

They seemed as close as ever during a photocall before Joey spoke to The Sun about their relationship and how he loves spending the day with Vanessa.

“She’s a lovely girl, she’s beautiful inside and out and we do get on really well,” he said, before noting how the so-called Strictly Come Dancing curse is real because: “You’re close and you are touching each other’s legs…and everywhere else. You are very intimate and it can happen.”

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Joey was also grilled on Good Morning Britain about his skating partner and he opened up about their relationship, saying: "I'm open, I'll answer, the truth is obviously… I'm single, Vanessa is single, you know. We go to the ice every day, it's cold, got to keep each other warm… do you know what I mean? So that's it really… yeah, it's all good."

"No comment, can't confirm, but we are both single, right now, we're taking it slowly, it's all good,” he added.

More recently, Vanessa and Joey were seen leaving the ex-TOWIE star's Essex home as they headed out to grab breakfast together.

The dancing partners grabbed breakfast and a coffee together before they headed back to Joey’s pad to grab their bags and head to Dancing on Ice training ahead of another live performance.

During a recent live performance on the show, Joey awkwardly went in to kiss Vanessa, leaving viewers wondering if the smooch was part of the routine or not.

Joey and Vanessa transformed into Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez from High School Musical for their performance as part of the ITV show's Movie Week, and at the end of the routine Joey went in to kiss Vanessa, which she quickly avoided and started giggling.

Dancing On Ice airs on Sunday on ITV.

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