Melanie Sykes, 50, enjoys six-day fling with gondolier

She is surely not the first holidaymaker to get amorous with a gondolier in the romantic city of Venice. But then, Melanie Sykes is no ordinary tourist.

Not only that, at 50 she is more than twice the age of the handsome boatman she was pictured kissing passionately, draping her arms around his neck as he clung tightly to her waist.

Little surprise then that the TV and radio presenter, who found fame in the 1990s as the face of Boddingtons bitter, told her online followers she was feeling 'just a bit giddy'.

As our exclusive pictures show, it wasn't a spur-of-the-moment clinch. Ms Sykes and the handsome Riccardo Simionato, 23, who still lives with his parents, went on to enjoy a six-day fling in the Floating City.

It should be said, however, that twice-divorced Ms Sykes, who has two sons aged 18 and 16, looks much younger than her age. As the gallant gondolier, who declined to discuss their dalliance, himself noted: ' is relative.'

Manchester-born Ms Sykes was in Venice on a mini-break with a female friend and first posted a picture of herself being punted along a canal by obliging Riccardo last Saturday.

Saturday: On her first day in Venice, and Melanie Sykes, 50, heads straight for the gondolas, where she met her holiday romance Riccardo Simionato

Saturday: On her first day in Venice, and Melanie Sykes, 50, heads straight for the gondolas, where she met her holiday romance Riccardo Simionato

The pictured embrace came less than 48 hours later, on Monday, and the next day she was seen enjoying an alfresco breakfast in the gondolier's company in the intimate Campo San Toma square.

The following morning, Riccardo abandoned his gondola and joined Ms Sykes for a sightseeing boat trip along the Grand Canal.

Of his relationship with the former Big Breakfast star, Riccardo was coy. Speaking back on board his gondola, he grinned broadly as he told The Mail on Sunday: 'I don't remember. I meet a lot of people.'

Pressed further, Riccardo, who was not born when Ms Sykes first found fame, acknowledged the 27-year age gap but added: ' is relative. Maybe what in your eyes is beautiful, isn't to me.'

Monday: The pair met up and shared a passionate kiss two days after they were first spotted together

Monday: The pair met up and shared a passionate kiss two days after they were first spotted together

Tuesday: The next day Melanie was seen enjoying an alfresco breakfast in the gondolier's company in the intimate Campo San Toma square

Tuesday: The next day Melanie was seen enjoying an alfresco breakfast in the gondolier's company in the intimate Campo San Toma square

He remained with Ms Sykes until Thursday, the last day of her holiday, when they were

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