maura-higgins

Maura Higgins: the story behind her engagement to her childhood sweetheart

The Love Island fan favourite is currently starring in Dancing on Ice

Francesca Shillcock

We first met Maura Higgins when she strutted into the Love Island villa in June 2019, and she's been dating her former fellow Islander Curtis Pritchard ever since. Now, Maura's a big TV star and is scoring high during her stint on Dancing On Ice. But before she found Curtis and her well-deserved TV success, she was engaged to her childhood sweetheart.

WATCH: Maura discusses the Dancing on Ice 'curse'

Maura had always been keen to succeed. She worked as a model before entering the villa, no doubt a demanding job with long, anti-social hours. And, as reported in the Mirror, this is the reason why her previous engagement ended. Maura's ex-fiancé is James Finnegan, a fellow Irish native who went to school with the celebrity in Longford, Ireland and worked as a mechanic and car dealer.

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Maura Higgins has been in a relationship with Curtis since Love Island 2019

The couple were reportedly together for at least four years, with the engagement occurring in 2013 before their split in 2017. At the time, Maura was just 23 and was training as a hairdresser and working as a model. However, after Maura's modelling career took off, so did she; the 29-year-old began travelling a lot for work and her relationship suffered as a result. The couple called it quits in 2017 and James was said to be devastated. Luckily, however, Maura has moved on and found love again with Curtis on Love Island. After causing a stir in the villa between Molly and Tommy, Maura set her sights on another Islander: Curtis, who had recently split from his then "half-girlfriend" Amy Hart. After a couple of "chats" the couple decide to go for it, made the final, and are still together.

MORE: Brianne Delcourt shares sweet engagement gifts from Dancing on Ice

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The reality star has been showing off her skills on the ice

Five months after finding love in the Spanish villa, it was announced that Maura was to join Dancing on Ice. Although Maura was excited about her stint on the show, the reality star did admit that her training meant that she and Curtis weren't spending as much time together as she'd like. Appearing on Loose Women, the former Love Islander said: "We don't see each other as much as we'd hoped, but we're busy and because we're in the same line of work now we understand that and when we see each other it's amazing." Maura was also quick to ensure that, although she was dancing with another man, no "curse" was coming between her and Curtis. The 29-year-old explained: "I don't think [Curtis] is worried," adding, "I'm very lucky because Curtis is obviously used to the whole dancing world, he knows that you have to have a connection to your partner."

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