Romance just beginning for Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev as they leave her home together following Strictly win


It’s very early days but things are looking bright for the new couple.

Kara Tointon and new beau Artem Chigvintsev were all smiles as they posed for a picture together outside her London home early this morning.

And they have no plans to separate any time soon as Artem has agreed to spend Christmas with Kara and her family at their North London home.

Happy couple: Kara Tointon and Artem can't stop smiling as they pose for a picture outside her parents London home early this morning

Happy new couple: Kara Tointon and Artem pose outside her parents London home early this morning before heading off to do post-win TV interviews today

The professional dancer will be giving his girl plenty of TLC over the festive season as she was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Just hours after sharing a passionate, and very public, kiss with her new beau, Kara was being rushed to hospital by her father.

The 27-year-old former EastEnders star battled through the dance show final to take the title, despite being in agony with a torn ligament in her lower arm.

Injured: Kara battled through the dance show final to take the title, despite the agony of a torn ligament

Injured: Kara battled through the dance show final to take the title, despite the agony of a torn ligament

In fact Kara was only able to perform her waltz and American Smooth because she had taken strong painkillers by show bosses.

Kara injured herself during her second dance performance of the night performing to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

‘On the last two dances I couldn’t really move my arm. It was a weird experience not being able to move my arm, thank God it wasn’t my leg because  that would have a been a disaster,’ Kara said.

But despite being in agony Kara managed to soldier on to win the title with partner and new beau Artem Chigvintsev.

And the pair confirmed the romance their fans have been hoping for as they celebrated their win with a passionate kiss.

But just hours after the euphoria of her win, Kara was being taken to hospital after the extent of her injury became clear.

X-rays taken revealed the damage of the torn ligament, which will require physiotherapy to treat and Kara will need to rest for at least six weeks.

Artem was left distressed when the full extent of her injury was revealed but has been on hand to help Kara as he is staying at her parents house.

‘My dad took me (to the hospital) - I didn’t want to wake anyone
because everyone was sound asleep. Artem stayed at my parents. My flat is being done up so I am living at my parents at the moment.’

Artem was unable to control his feelings celebrating their win on Saturday night and the excitement appeared to get the better of him as he planted a kiss on his stunning dance partner.

They shared the kiss after discovering they had won Strictly Come Dancing.

And if that wasn’t confirmation enough of Kara Tointon’s blooming partnership with Artem Chigvintsev, her remarks yesterday surely were.

Asked whether the dance partners were now officially a couple, Miss Tointon – whose arm is in a sling after she injured herself during the final – replied: ‘Fingers crossed. We will see what happens.’

But today the Strictly winner told BBC breakfast that there was chemistry between the couple from their first meeting.

She said: 'We've got on like a house on fire all the way through, which is quite a big achievement in itself because it's intense and you do have low moments. Now we're out of the studio it will be nice to do some normal things like go to the cinema and the shops.'

Indeed, the pair are getting on so well that Chigvintsev, 28, who is staying at her family’s North London home, made dinner for her whole family after the show.

By getting to know each other on the show Kara revealed it was a strange situation to fall for someone.‘It is just one of those weird things where you meet someone but it is not in a normal environment, there is no time to do anything sociable,’ she added.

Beginning of a fine romance: The pair showed their feelings at the end of the competition

Beginning of a fine romance: The pair showed their feelings at the end of the competition

'I hope we can continue to get on like we have done and I guess we will see what happens. We will chill out and probably go to a nice restaurant in the week I hope.'

Despite wining the show the couple were Kara believes there should be a Strictly rule book she told BBC Breakfast: 'I think there should be a Strictly rule book. Artem is an amazing choreographer. He thought American smooth is sort of freestyle but who knows? There should be a book.'

Saturday night's show drew 14.5million viewers at its peak, the highest ever for Strictly Come Dancing.

Miss Tointon and Chigvintsev impressed the judges with their four performances, which included the American Smooth and an energetic show dance.

After finding out they had beaten TV presenter Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani, she said: ‘The most special thing about this whole experience has been meeting Artem.

‘He is so special, he’s one of the...’, before her tears stopped her from continuing. She added: ‘I have made a friend for life.’

In response, Chigvintsev said: ‘When she’s laughing, I find it adorable and irresistible.’

It is not the first time Chigvintsev has dated a co-star. Before coming to Britain, he took part in the U.S. show Dancing With The Stars and was with judge Carrie Ann Inaba, 15 years his senior, for two years before they split in November 2008.

Smiling through the pain: Kara battled injury to take the Strictly trophy

Smiling through the pain: Kara battled injury to take the Strictly trophy

Miss Tointon’s victory was all the more impressive considering she had been battling a wrist injury that was yesterday diagnosed by doctors as torn ligaments.

The injury happened in the climax to the eighth series, as the final two couples performed four routines including their highest scoring dance from the series and a ‘no holds barred’ show dance.

It was during the latter, to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, that Miss Tointon felt her arm give way.

She said: ‘On the show I felt it go but we had to keep going. It was the most painful thing I have ever done.’

Admit it, Widdy was the real winner: Claudia Connell's view from the sofa

By CLAUDIA CONNELL

What bright spark on the production team thought it would be a good idea to give the Strictly final a boxing theme? Call me old-fashioned but why not give the showpiece of a ballroom dancing competition a ballroom dancing theme?

So it was that we had the three contestants coming out, shadow punching in their silk dressing gowns, while the professional dancers performed a messy number to Eye Of The Tiger – the Rocky theme. Talk about laying it on with a trowel. But then nobody could ever accuse Strictly of being subtle.

Now that I think about it, Bruce did seem as though he’d taken a few too many blows to the head. He messed up his introduction and you could drive a bus through some of the gaps in his presenting.

Deja vu? Kara Tointon reprised her rumba in the final - but we had only seen it a week earlier in the semi-final

Deja vu? Kara Tointon reprised her rumba in the final - but we had only seen it a week earlier in the semi-final

But at least Tess got the chance to squeeze in about 20 well-rehearsed boxing puns about ‘going the distance’ and ‘undefeated champions’.

Matt Baker was positively giddy at the prospect of being in the final. By the end of the first half I wanted to dose him up with valium and tie him to a chair. Jogging on the spot, clapping and squealing with excitement – he was like a kid at his fifth birthday party.

We were promised four dances although in the end it was all a bit of a let-down because we’d already seen two before – in Kara Tointon’s case exactly seven days before. She re-did her rumba from last Saturday which seemed a bit of a cop-out.

Maybe Kara and her toothy dance partner Artem were just in a rush to get things over and done with, given that they have pledged to, er, ‘seal’ their relationship.

Over-enthusiastic? Matt Baker threw everything but the kitchen sink into his show dance - giving a lavish display of acrobatics

Over-enthusiastic? Matt Baker threw everything but the kitchen sink into his show dance - giving a lavish display of acrobatics

Although Kara may well be changing her mind after seeing what a cry baby her partner was.

The man was blubbing more than Gazza at the World Cup. He sobbed if they got a good score and wept if they got a bad score.

I thought he’d collapse in a heap when judge Craig Revel Horwood claimed they’d performed an illegal lift in their rumba. If they did it was invisible to the naked eye. It’s the much hyped ‘show dances’ that are the party pieces of the final – and boy, were they not worth the wait.

Matt threw everything but the kitchen sink into his performance, which saw him do a mixture of break dancing, disco and gymnastics. The only thing he didn’t do was some fire-eating and juggling. He could have ridden a unicycle but he’d already done that. It was just too much.

Head judge Len Goodman was quite right to point out the pointlessness of spending 12 weeks learning ballroom and Latin and then, when you get free rein, performing a lame dad’s version of High School Musical.

Missing out: Despite peforming the best show dance and receiving the highest marks from the judges, Pamela Stephenson finished in third place

Missing out: Despite peforming the best show dance and receiving the highest marks from the judges, Pamela Stephenson finished in third place

Meanwhile Kara, dressed in one of Evel Knievel’s cast-offs, spent more time in the air than on the floor in her show dance. Again they threw too much into it and totally messed up the ending.

By contrast Pamela Stephenson’s rather tame show dance ended up being the best.

Not that it did her any good – despite scoring the highest judges’ marks, Pamela ended up in third place. Cruelly, the person who comes third is then eliminated and doesn’t do the other two dances they’ve been rehearsing. Oh well, that’s showbiz.

In part two of the grand final we were reintroduced to the previous contestants who performed a group number. Widdy once more demonstrated her trademark ‘sack of spuds’ move as Anton rolled, swung and dragged her around the floor.

Lest we forget: she didn't win, but it's likely to be Ann Widdecombe's dance routines that viewers remember

Lest we forget: she didn't win, but it's likely to be Ann Widdecombe's dance routines that viewers remember

In the end Kara won. She may not have Pamela’s sparky personality but it’s only fair that in a dance competition the best dancer triumphs.

And there you have it. After 14 weeks, Strictly is all over for another year. Felicity Kendal will be asked to perform the splits wherever she goes, Pamela is officially the sexiest grandma in the world and Gavin Henson can breathe a sigh of relief that he no longer has to mess up his hair.

But for all the dancing, costumes and bitchy comments from the judges, this series will go down as being memorable for one reason: a frumpy, battle axe of a politician who made people laugh every week with her sexless salsa, rhythm-less rumba and pitiful paso doble. She may not have got to lift the tacky trophy but, for me, Widdy was the real Strictly winner.

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