The Strictly relationship curse is a well-known aside to the popular BBC1 dance competition that has seen many romances between partners form and many existing couples crumble. This year’s winners - Jay McGuiness and his professional partner Aliona Vilani - are feeling the pressure of questions surrounding their partnership with the former boyband star declaring the pair are "just friends".

Jay McGuiness and Aliona VilaniMore than professional partners?

Vilani - who has been married for just over a year - and McGuiness set tongues wagging when a collection of intimate photographs of the two surfaced following their Saturday night success.

The snaps showed the two leaving the BBC studios hand in hand and embracing.

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However, McGuiness has claimed their romance was simply a showmance and they had to put on a romantic display as part of their dances.

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.

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"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."

The series 13 winner added: "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 walk away from Strictly with a friend for life."