Strictly Come Dancing champions Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev have given their first exclusive interview as a couple, in which they reveal how they secretly fell for each other just two weeks into training, how their relationship is no fleeting affair and that they are planning a future together.
“Artem’s the one person I’ve really been able to be myself with,” Kara told HELLO!. “I totally feel he brings out the best in me.”
Kara has had previous relationships with ex-Eastenders stars Joe Swash and James Alexandrou and former Busted singer James Bourne, but this one feels rather special. “It’s like having my best friend here who can guide and help me and it’s so nice to have someone who has your best interests at heart,” she says.
Kara had been “adamant” that she didn’t want a relationship during Strictly, but couldn’t help falling for the Russian hunk. “I knew pretty quick that I’d met someone special,” she told HELLO!. “We were getting to know each other and I thought ‘God, I really like him.”
They tell HELLO! how two weeks into their training, they went on a trip to the cinema where Artem made his move. “I held her hand,” admits Artem, 28.
“Then we kissed after that,” smiled Kara.
Artem spent Christmas with Kara and her family – Kara reveals that he bought her a Dior handbag and that Artem “fitted in” with her family from very early on. “It has been my dream to meet someone that my family would love as much as I did,” she said.
Artem’s ex-wife Giselle Peacock recently claimed that Artem was obsessed with “fame and money” and alleged that he dated women who would further his career. Artem says that there are a lot of inaccuracies in her account and “wants to leave it all behind because it creates more mess and more bad feelings.”
Kara is not bothered by the claims. “By the time that story came out, we’d told each other everything,” she says. Kara has been introduced to Artem’s mother Anna, via Skype, with Artem acting as translator. “Artem’s childhood is so different to mine,” she said. “Its fascinating. I can’t wait to go.”
The couple are currently appearing in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour, after which, they reveal, they are setting up home together. Artem is helping Kara renovate a flat that she bought in North London. Said Kara: “Right now, I couldn’t be happier.”
SEE THE FULL EXCLUSIVE STORY IN HELLO! MAGAZINE,OUT NOW