Strictly Come Dancing stars Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola are not a couple... ... trends now

Strictly Come Dancing stars Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola are not a couple... ... trends now
Strictly Come Dancing stars Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola are not a couple... ... trends now

Strictly Come Dancing stars Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola are not a couple... ... trends now

This is an interesting twist on the idea of introducing a handsome young man to your parents. Strictly contestant Ellie Leach has been bringing her dance partner back to her mum and dad's for dinner. And it's going down a storm.

'He's become part of the family. They love him and he loves my mum's gravy,' she reveals. Pardon? 'My mum cooked a beef stew — just an ordinary beef stew, nothing special I thought, but he loved it, so every time he comes for tea, he asks 'will there be gravy?' '

'He', of course, is Vito Coppola, 31, the Strictly pro sweeping Ellie off her feet and the man helping her to, as she tells me poignantly, 'find my own personality'.

His Mediterranean heritage may make him an unlikely fan of traditional British fare but then they are one of Strictly's more fascinating pairings. The former Coronation Street actress is just 22, a self-confessed 'homebody' from Manchester, who still lives with her parents and, although she's been acting since she was nine, comes across as shy.

He is the Italian stallion, an 11-time Latin American champion who is something of a heart-throb. He and his pop star partner on the Italian version of Strictly became an item in real life, although the relationship was over by the time he moved to the UK.

Strictly contestant Ellie Leach has been bringing her dance partner back to her mum and dad's for dinner. And it's going down a storm

Strictly contestant Ellie Leach has been bringing her dance partner back to her mum and dad's for dinner. And it's going down a storm

Vito Coppola, 31, is the Strictly pro sweeping Ellie off her feet and the man helping her to, as she tells me poignantly, 'find my own personality'

Vito Coppola, 31, is the Strictly pro sweeping Ellie off her feet and the man helping her to, as she tells me poignantly, 'find my own personality'

Vito is an everything-out-there kind of man. His fans have joked that his chest hair should have its own social media account. His worship of Ellie is as flamboyantly displayed as his flamenco swagger. He calls her 'my baby', 'my Lulu', and 'a diamond'.

At the end of their off-the-scale sexy Argentine tango last week, when viewers thought they were going to fall on each other (and not in a 'whoops!' way), he explained how he got this sweet lass to unleash her inner tiger.

'There is a ball of fire between us and I said: 'Look at me and eat me with your eyes,' ' he told startled co-host Claudia Winkleman, who may never recover.

Viewers loved it. And guess what? Ellie seems to love it, too.

'Vito is wild,' she tells me, laughing. 'But that's what makes every single day such fun. I'd never done anything like this before, but he's such a great teacher and great human that he gives me the confidence. Vito has encouraged me to come out of my comfort zone.'

She tries to explain how he gets her in the other zone. 'We do deep breaths before we go out so that I forget about the judges and the audience, and it's just Vito and me on the dance floor.'

Ellie and Vito were a couple to watch right from the start, but the sizzle factor between them wasn't necessarily the thing that viewers initially found captivating — it was the humour. While Vito speaks four languages (Italian, English, Russian and Spanish) his command of English has led to some moments where the pair have collapsed laughing because of miscommunication.

There was the time he brought a 'lula hoop' to help with her hip action. Funnier still was the moment when she, draped over his shoulders in ungainly fashion, told him that she thought she was going to fall. He misunderstood her Manchester accent, thought she said 'fart' and put her down very quickly. She is still laughing about that one today.

'I don't think I've had so much fun. Every day we just laugh.'

Now they are the bookies' favourites to lift the glitterball trophy, which perhaps shows how winning, and multi-layered, their chemistry is.

There really is only one question fans of the show want answered, of course. Are they a couple in real life?

read more from dailymail.....

NEXT Coronation Street's Brooke Vincent breaks down in tears as she experiences 'mum ... trends now