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Anton and Kate share a tender moment outside the North Star pub

Luffy | Monday, February 11, 2008 | 0 comments
They insist that they enjoy a purely working relationship.

In which case, Kate Garraway and Anton du Beke are extremely close colleagues.

The pair who were partners in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing have been photographed in a lingering embrace outside a pub.
Emerging from the pub, Kate looks left, and right, apparently to see if the coast is clear
Du Beke comes out and the couple start to walk towards his car
Anton and Kate share a tender moment outside the North Star pub in Islington last Thursday evening, but Kate insists the two are just good friends

The 39-year-old GMTV presenter is also said to have enjoyed a series of lunches with du Beke and become a regular late-afternoon visitor to his London bachelor pad.

As her spokesman insisted yesterday that suggestions of a relationship were wide of the mark, Miss Garraway, 39, emerged from her North London home with what appeared to be a forced smile.

She and her husband, former Labour spin doctor Derek Draper, drove away in their Mercedes with their 23-month-old daughter Darcey, paying no heed to the fact that one of the tyres on the car was totally flat.

In pictures taken last week, 41-year-old du Beke was seen breaking into a huge grin after sharing a clinch with Miss Garraway outside a pub near her home, where she had been hosting a fundraising event for Great Ormond Street children's hospital.

Her husband had left 90 minutes earlier.

During their time on the TV dance floor, viewers had noted how the pair warmed to each other and du Beke declared: "Kate and I have been practising so hard. Sometimes I grab her a*** to put her in the mood or fondle her a little bit to get her ready to perform."

At the end of last month, a witness who saw the pair leaving du Beke's flat near Tower Bridge said: "They held hands. At one point, his hand was on the small of her back and he gave her an affectionate squeeze on the bottom."
All smiles: Kate with husband Derek Draper and their daughter yesterday

The dancer himself split with his girlfriend Caroline Feraday, another TV presenter, last year.

It is not the first time he has appeared close to a Strictly contestant - in the first series he was affectionate towards opera singer Lesley Garrett.

Du Beke - born Anthony Paul Beke - has been much in demand for joint television commitments with Miss Garraway.

They travelled to Devon to film GMTV's Inch-Loss Island, where three overweight women are put on a vigorous exercise and diet regime
The pair are currently working on a BBC show to celebrate Bruce Forsyth's 80th birthday, which requires rehearsing for seven to eight hours at a time, once or twice a week.

"This explains why they are spending so much time together," said a source.

"Kate and Anton are not having a sexual relationship. Kate and Derek are very happy together.

"As a married couple, they have spoken openly about their rows and they do have a fiery relationship, but they are in love."

A spokesman for the couple said the "suggestion" of an affair in the Sunday Mirror was "utterly false" and they had instructed solicitors to begin libel proceedings.
Just good friends: Kate insists she is happily married to Derek Draper (right) and that she and Anton du Beke (left) are just friends
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