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Who is Strictly's Karim Zeroual dating? His secret girlfriend revealed

The CBBC presenter is in a relationship with student Poppy Birtwistle

Gemma Strong

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden  have made it through to the Strictly Come Dancing 2019, and will battle it out on the dancefloor this Saturday. While the pair are now great friends, Karim and Amy have been dogged by romance rumours since the start of their Strictly journey. In November, CBBC star Karim was forced to set the record straight, telling Best magazine: "There's nothing going on between me and Amy. I have a girlfriend." The 25-year-old added that any chemistry caught on camera is simply down to the fact that the pair are good friends.

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Karim Zeroual has been dating Poppy Birtwistle for three years

On 22 September, Poppy shared a number of photos following the very first live Strictly show, including a snapshot of her posing with Karim's dance partner Amy, and another showing her and Karim with Amy and her fiancé Ben Jones. Alongside the images, Poppy wrote: "I could literally burst with pride." She returned to Instagram again on 30 September, following Karim's second Strictly appearance, uploading a black-and-white selfie taken with Australian drag queen Courtney Act. "Celebrating my boy being at the top of the leader board with the one and only! @courtneyact ‘bbcstrictly #strictlycomedancing," Poppy captioned the snapshot.

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The couple pictured with Karim's dance partner Amy Dowden and her fiancé

In August, the couple celebrated their anniversary together, with Poppy sharing a sweet tribute to her boyfriend. Alongside a photo of the couple together, she wrote: "Chapter 3. Happy anniversary" along with a black love heart. In response, Karim wrote: "Happy anniversary bubba! Love you to pieces forever and always."

MORE: Strictly star Karim Zeroual’s past heartache revealed over best friend Loella's tragic Bestival death

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The couple sent sweet anniversary messages to each other in August

Karim is best known for his appearances on CBBC, but has also starred in a number of West End productions, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Lion King. His small screen credits include kids' drama The Sparticle Mystery, which ran on the BBC from 2011 until 2015, Wimbledon Live and BBC's Young Dancer. Most recently, he filmed a brand new travel and sport documentary for CBBC called A Week to Beat the World, in which he takes three British children to countries like Guatemala, Brazil and Japan to play the national sports and see if they can beat the locals at their own game.

MORE: Strictly's Michelle Visage looks UNRECOGNISABLE in throwback photo

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Karim is currently one of the favourites to win Strictly

Speaking ahead of his appearance on Strictly, Karim said: "To be offered the chance to take part in Strictly is dumbfounding, I'm pinching myself. I'm so excited to be Strictlified. I want THE LOT. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heels a guy can find. The more flamboyant, the better… sequins galore please!"

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