Former TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh has reportedly enjoyed ‘a string of dates’ with Louis Smith after exchanging flirty banter with the hunky gymnast on the set of celebrity talent show Tumble.
The pair are said to have met while filming the BBC gymnastics show, which will not return after ending in September, and pals say the chemistry was evident long before they went on their first date.
‘There were lots of rumours about Louis and Lucy when he was judging Tumble and she was a contestant,’ a source told The Sun’s TV Biz. ‘It’s true they were flirting but nothing happened.’
The pal claims fitness nut Lucy, 23, initially ruled out the possibility of romance with the Olympic silver and bronze medalist, 25, because at 5ft 10in he is considerably shorter than the towering 6ft 2in she normally goes for.
The source explained: ‘Louis got with someone straight after Tumble but they split and he bumped into Lucy. She must have forgotten about his size because sparks flew and they started dating.
'The way things are looking they could be together for a long time.'
Posting on Instagram in November, Louis shared a black and white snap of himself with Lucy, who nuzzles into his chest.
The accompanying caption reads: 'Look who I found.. @lucymeck1 . She looks just as good in a dress as she does in a leotard #tumble.'
Lucy’s reported dates with Louis come shortly after a short-lived romance with Welsh TV presenter Gethin Jones.
Lucy and Gethin - who was previously engaged to opera singer Katherine Jenkins - were first linked to each other back in August, before being spotted holding hands while on a date the following month.
Picture : Bridesmaid Dresses
But although they have called time on their fleeting romance for now, the Essex-based boutique owner insisted she and Gethin have remained friends.
Speaking in an interview with new! magazine, Lucy said: 'We’re not dating. We went out a few times a while ago but it was bad timing for both of us.
'I was so busy after Tumble and he travels a lot, so it wasn’t the best time.'
Insisting she and Gethin were never 'official', Lucy added: '[We're in touch] as friends. He’s the nicest guy. It was a mutual thing.'
Lucy was previously engaged to her TOWIE co-star Mario Falcone, and enjoyed brief romances with Mark Wright and The Wanted hunk Max George.
Meanwhile, Louis most-recently dated ex-TOWIE star Pascal Craymer, who had a fleeting romance with Lucy's ex, Mario.
MailOnline have contacted Louis and Lucy’s representatives for further comment.