Strictly Come Dancing favourite Karim Zeroual has insisted he's stayed faithful to his secret girlfriend despite growing close to his pro dancer Amy Dowden.
The contestant, 25, has been topping the Strictly leaderboard with pro dancer Amy, 28, as they fight to win the iconic Glitterball trophy.
Some eagle-eyed viewers have questioned whether romance is on the cards for the pair.
However, the presenter is adamant he hasn't fallen victim to the Strictly curse with Amy as he is dedicated to his girlfriend.
Karim opened up about his friendship with his dance partner and shut down rumours of a romance in an interview with Best magazine.
The former DJ instantly rubbished suspicions of the Strictly curse, saying: "Oh no – there's nothing going on between me and Amy. I have a girlfriend.
"But Amy and I are really good mates – a bit too good!"
According to reports, Karim has been dating university student Poppy Birtwistle for three years but has successfully kept their romance away from the limelight, while his BBC partner is engaged to Ben Jones.
The Strictly contestant spoke about his fun relationship with Amy.
He said: "We tease each other constantly, and it goes a bit far, and she nags me a bit – but look, it is all out of love."
After admitting that Amy does have to 'rein him in sometimes', the CBBC promised the duo are nothing more than close 'friends'.
It seems that despite their fiery tango and on-stage chemistry, Karim and Amy are unlikely victims to the Strictly curse as they both seem settled with their partners, with Amy getting engaged last year.
Poppy has not been pictured publicly with Karim, but insiders have revealed she has been to his rehearsals and has met his dance partner.
A source previously told The Sun : "Karim was really keen to involve Poppy in his training and wanted her to meet Amy to make sure she felt comfortable."
Karim swapped kiddie TV for the ballroom to compete in this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Many celebrities who've taken part in Strictly have ended up splitting from their wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends and have coupled up with their professional partner.
Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley famously fell in love during their winning stint together on the BBC show last year, as did their co-stars Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell.
Karim's shut down of romance rumours comes shortly after judge Craig Revel Horwood blamed the Strictly curse for distracting viewers from the dancing.
The judge had previously identified couples with major backstage chemistry but insisted there was no 'funny business'.
The TV personality got candid when he discussed the scandals that have sent shockwaves through the Strictly dance floor over the years.
He told Radio Times magazine: "I think it's a good thing that there isn't as much talk of the 'Strictly Curse', because it did detract from the show last year."
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