Faye Tozer keeps her distance from husband in first pictures since admitting Strictly has 'strained' their marriage

Faye and Michael were spotted sneaking out of a hotel earlier today after photos emerged of her professional dance partner, Giovanni Pernice, wiping food from her face in a London restaurant.

Faye kept her look low-key with a woolly black hat and dark sunglasses, teamed with an oversized coat.

Michael wore a dark green jacket with jeans and carried a backpack – with the pair barely interacting as they loaded luggage into a waiting car.

Earlier this week, Steps star Faye revealed to The Sun that she finds being away from her husband "tricky" while she trains with Giovanni Pernice.

Last week the dance pro, 28, appeared to be feeding Faye as they enjoyed a celebratory lunch between rehearsals to celebrate the blonde beauty's 43rd birthday.

The hunky Italian was keen to make it an extra special day for Faye – after he fed her from a spoon and cupped her cheek.

He also ordered the singer a cake with a candle, followed by a glass of wine, and even footed the bill at the end of the meal.

But the popstar, who has been married to second husband Michael since 2009, insisted Giovanni was simply wiping some food from her cheek.

She said: "I can feed myself thank you very much. But I had a bit of salad on my face so he took it off and that was it."

Faye went on: "It’s always tricky being away from home. You just have to keep your head above water.

"We’ve just got to keep really tight as a family unit and make sure we communicate — I think that’s the only way.

"But it is tough being away from home because we miss each other."

Faye and Michael have a nine-year-old son together.

Giovanni previously hit back at claims that he was enjoying a secret romance with Faye – with speculation growing last month after former professional dancer Gleb Savchenko hinted to The Sun that the pair had "hooked up".

Giovanni retorted: "This is total and utter nonsense!

"No one has any idea why Gleb is saying stuff like this. It's utter rubbish."

Giovanni has also been forced to deny rumours that he is dating American Strictly contestant Ashley Roberts, and has previously dated Georgia May Foote, who he met on the BBC One dance show.

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