Last year’s BBC competition saw McGee and Pernice develop a close friendship that took them all the way to the final and fuelled rumours that there was more going on between the pair backstage.
But McGee has always maintained that they are just good friends, and in an interview on Loose Women said she wasn’t at all bothered by stories that he had been spotted getting amorous with one of this year’s finalists, Pussycat Doll Roberts.
— Loose Women ❄️🎄 (@loosewomen) December 17, 2018
As guest panellist Gloria Hunniford asked whether she was jealous, she replied: “Er, no. Definitely not.
“We’re still friends and we were messaging through the show on Friday when they were in the studio because he’s just a great mate, which I explained to everybody when I was on here earlier in the year.
“So for me, that’s probably why I wasn’t jealous because we’ve got this amazing friendship.”
McGee added that she had found her former dancing partner did wonders for her confidence after losing her husband Paul Daniels in 2016.
She said: “The fact that I had this lovely, good-looking, Italian man giving me confidence was even more of a help. The whole Strictly thing really was great for me.”
Faye, Giovanni and Debbie last night!
— Faye Tozer SCD (@StrictlyFaye) November 4, 2018
The magician’s assistant also told Loose Women that this was the first year since Daniels’ death that she had felt like celebrating Christmas.
She said: “This year is the first year that I put the tree up.
“Paul dressed up as Santa but would put a policeman’s helmet on so that our nieces and nephews couldn’t go near the presents.
“He loved those automaton toys, we had a Father Christmas ski slope around the tree. The family would buy him a new toy each year and our house was like a grotto.
“This is the first year I’ve got them all out and I’ve got one in my panto dressing room.”
Pernice was a runner-up in this year’s Strictly final again, this time partnering former Steps star Faye Tozer who he won a perfect score of 120 with in Saturday’s episode.