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Strictly’s Helen Skelton keeping Vito Coppola ‘quiet bus dates’ under wraps

Strictly Come Dancing tour members Helen Skelton and Vito Coppola have been getting closer according to sources

Helen Skelton is reportedly trying to keep her ‘closeness’ to Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Vito Coppola ‘under wraps’ after bonding with him on the recent tour.

The 39-year-old Countryfile host made it all the way to the 2022 final with dance partner Gorka Marquez, very soon after a high-profile spit from rugby-playing husband Richie Myler. And now the mum-of-three has been going on ‘casual dates’ with Vito, who danced with Fleur East in the most recent Strictly season.

However, it would appear that Helen is doing her best to keep any connection as secret as possible as a source told The Mirror she has been attempting to avoid the cameras while spending time with Vito.

A source said tonight: “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.”

Fleur East and Vito Coppola during the live show of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One last series

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.

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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