Dancing on Ice star Brianne Delcourt posts heartfelt tribute to skating partner and new boyfriend Kevin Kilbane

The couple met on the show

Francesca Shillcock

They took to the ice for their first performance in the competition on Sunday, and it's clear that Brianne Delcourt is extremely proud of her skating partner and boyfriend, Kevin Kilbane. Brianne, who is the former champion after winning the show in 2011, took to Instagram to share her pride in her new boyfriend's performance.

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The skating pro uploaded a series of pictures to her social media of the two during their routine and captioned the post: "Couldn’t be prouder of this man @kdkilbane77 for going out and smashing it on Sunday." The 38-year-old continued: "Also- a massive thank-you to absolutely every single person who has supported us and voted to help us stay another week. We honestly couldn’t have done it without you #mostimproved #blessed."

And it seems many of Brianne's followers were equally as pleased with their moves on the ice, with one writing: "You two were incredible!! You have my vote each week and I can’t wait to watch you both next week!!" While another commented: "Loved your performance. I'm so happy for you and Kevin. You are both a lovely couple xx."

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Brianne posted a sweet message to skating partner Kevin on Instagram

Former footballer Kevin, who has played for clubs including Everton and Sunderland, was equally as complimentary of his partner during the show on Sunday. The 42-year-old expressed that he "couldn't be happier" with his new relationship, before the couple went on to receive high praise for their performance to Mr Blue Sky.

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The pair have been training almost daily for the past four months, and their friendship has now turned into something more. The 38-year-old Canadian skater has dated three former DOI contestants: Matt Lapinskas, Sam Attwater and Danny Young. However, she insisted that Kevin isn't part of a pattern and is nothing like her previous boyfriends, describing him as "perfect" and her "best friend." Kevin shares two daughters, Elsie, 15, and Isla, 13, with his ex-wife Laura, who he married when he was 22. In 2013, the sportsman revealed that he and Laura had split in 2011 after 12 years of marriage.

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