Home » TV & Movies » New Strictly star Graziano Di Prima says he is happy to be a sex symbol after being inundated with hundreds of messages from admirers after his debut

New Strictly star Graziano Di Prima says he is happy to be a sex symbol after being inundated with hundreds of messages from admirers after his debut

There is a new telly hunk in town for women to drool over on Saturday nights.

Meet Italian pro dancer Graziano Di Prima, Strictly Come Dancing’s big signing — and firm favourite to win the new series with his celebrity partner Vick Hope.

The buzz around the tattooed Sicilian is huge and Graziano has been inundated with hundreds of messages from female admirers . . . off the back of a SINGLE episode.

Talking to The Sun in his first UK newspaper interview, Graziano says: “It’s true that I have become a bit of a sex symbol.

“Since the first red carpet, a lot of women have been coming up to me.

"Girls have been sending me sexy messages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I saw so many comments. For me, it’s a pleasure to get this reaction from the women.”

In good news for fans of the 24-year-old, Graziano has vowed to keep his impressive physique on display as he takes part — and for one raunchy routine in particular.

The new series of Strictly officially kicks off next Saturday and Graziano says: “Of course I will show my body off! If I have something good to share with the people, why not?

“I had my shirt open in the first show. I can dance without my shirt too, so we’ll see.

“It could be the rhumba.”

Of the bold ink on his chest, Graziano says: “My tattoo is really important to me.

“It’s my star sign, a Taurus. If I was born again as an animal, I would be a bull — because they are elegant and strong.”

For the past three years, Graziano has toured the world with the dance company Burn The Floor.

That is how he met his girlfriend of two years, fellow dancer Giana Lini.

Graziano is a former Italian Latin champ but represented Belgium at the World Championships.

He believes show chiefs signed him because of his ripped body and says: “Strictly bosses found me. It was a dream come true.

“The show is so famous and a big step to become a pro dancer.

“I think they chose me because of how tall I am, my body and how I dance.

"Maybe my expressions too! I’m 6ft, so I’m one of the taller dancers, along with Aljaz (Skorjanec).”

Graziano’s long hair and tattooes have prompted comparisons to Johnny Depp’s roguish character in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Captain Jack Sparrow.

The dance hunk says he is very much a “mummy’s boy” and credits his mother Giovanna Migliore for getting him into dancing at just six years of age.

Graziano says: “I’m a proud Italian. I love pasta and pizza — and I’m a mummy’s boy.

“She has always supported me since I started. She has supported me the whole time.

“She helped me become a dancer. We are very close.

“My mum had 40 people around to her house to watch the first show. Everyone was crying because they were so happy for me.”

Graziano is incredibly special to his mother as he almost died at birth along with his twin brother, who didn’t survive.

His survival, against the odds, is the reason behind Graziano’s name.

He says: “I was born prematurely and had a twin brother, who sadly died. I was so weak that it was uncertain whether I would survive.

“I was lucky, though, and my parents named me Graziano, which means ‘thank you’.”

His dance partner Vick, 28, was similarly appreciative after being paired with the Italian in last week’s launch show.

When host Tess Daly announced their pairing, Vick screamed: “I feel like I just got married!”

Graziano’s huge female following has made the couple outright favourites to win the show, especially given Vick’s own dance experience.

Speaking about the Capital FM radio host, who is 28, he said: “I am really lucky. Vick is beautiful and young.

"She is so hard-working.

“It’s perfect for me. We match each other well.

In our jive, it is all about Vick being beautiful and showing off her womanly ways. So she is the star of this number.

“I take practice very seriously. I hope to go as far as we can.

“She has great stamina and she is helping me improve my English too.”

Graziano has already launched into intensive daily, eight-hour rehearsal sessions in London to prepare for their first dance on next week’s show — the the jive.

He says: “Vick has the radio every morning, so we rehearse from 11am to seven or eight in the evening.

“It is intense spending so much time together.

“I have to make sure she is comfortable. We can’t dance together otherwise.

“She needs to trust me. But she said to me, ‘I feel so comfortable to dance with you. Thank you for being patient with me’.”

Despite the closeness of their routines and the lengthy amount of time they will be spending together over the course of the series, Graziano is certain he won’t fall victim to the famous “Strictly curse” that has ended numerous relationships . . . and sparked others.

Indeed, his girlfriend Giana is a backing dancer on the show and Graziano says: “It’s amazing to have her on the show with me.

“We’re used to dancing together every day, so I would miss her if she wasn’t around.

"Giana doesn’t get jealous.

I introduced her to Vick on the first day. They are already friends and I left them alone together for an hour.”

Describing his ideal women, Graziano says: “It doesn’t matter if she has blonde or brown hair, as long as she is beautiful and tall.

“The most important thing is having expressive eyes. It’s the best part of a person.”

Another compatriot very much in his thoughts is rival pro Giovanni Pernice, who is paired on the show with Steps star Faye Tozer.

The two are pals from their school days but Graziano is aiming to knock Gio off his perch.

He says: “We have a challenge on — who will take the crown of ‘Italian Stallion’!

"I’m a bit taller than him, so I have a little bit of an advantage.”

And Graziano already seems to have the backing of judge Bruno Tonioli, another Italian.

He added: “I love Bruno already. I only met him on the first show.

“He said to me in Italian on the first show, ‘Wow, you’re a very nice-looking guy’. I hope I impressed him.”

Leaving a good first impression seems to be this man’s forte.

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