Ricky Hatton reveals Claire Sweeney turned his social life around after Dancing on Ice

Ricky Hatton gushes over girlfriend Claire Sweeney
-Credit: (Image: BANG Showbiz.)

Ricky Hatton has opened up about how his girlfriend Claire Sweeney saved him from being "Billy no mates" on Dancing on Ice. The 45-year-old boxing legend and the former Brookside actress hit it off while competing on the ITV ice-skating show earlier this year and now, five months into their relationship, Ricky is keen to see it last.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said: "I had a good laugh on the ice. I mean, after the first day, I was scared to death but I always love a challenge. I got knocked out in the first round, but I was able to meet Claire. I was always a Billy no mates at these things before Claire. Me and Claire have been together about five months now and long may it continue."

In May Ricky couldn't help but praise Claire, 53, especially after their getaway to Tenerife. When quizzed by The Sun about their holiday Ricky enthused: "It was great! Claire is like me, I've met someone who I get on with like a house on fire. She is just like me. We spend our whole time laughing together. Claire is just like me - she's so down to earth. She would never turn a picture down with a fan and she's always got time for people. That's what I really like about her. We've just been having good fun."

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Following their participation in Dancing on Ice the couple were seen sharing a warm embrace in April, which was followed by a cosy pub date in Heaton Moor, Stockport. An insider disclosed that the pair had "become really close", and mentioned that the Coronation Street star was gearing up to introduce Ricky to her loved ones, including her nine-year-old son Jaxon, whom she co-parents with former partner Daniel Reilly.

A source told Mail Online: "Claire and Ricky have become really close. She wasn't looking for a relationship but then Ricky came along and it just felt right and natural and she's really happy. Signing up for a reality TV show and meeting a great guy seems like hitting the jackpot for her, and she feels incredibly fortunate because it all appeared out of the blue, and sometimes that's when things work out the best. She's now excited about bringing Ricky into her circle and having her family and friends meet the man who has brought so much joy into her life." For the latest TV & Showbiz news, sign up to our newsletter.