JOE Garratt has played down reports of a romance with Maisie Smith – but revealed how they met.
The Sun told how the Love Island star and EastEnders actress had grown close and have since been getting to know one another after sparks flew at a recent showbiz party.
Breaking his silence, the 25-year-old, who dated Lucie Donlan during Love Island, admitted: "We met at an event – I think it was an event a few weeks back, maybe a month ago – got on really well.
"(Maisie is a) really cool girl. I met her mum and sister, who were also with her, and it was all good and I didn't think there was nothing to it.
"We're literally just friends. Just pal-y, it's nothing ever more. We are just friends actually. We're cool, we're cool."
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Maisie, who quit her role as Tiffany Butcher earlier this year, was previously linked to soap co-star Zack Morris, who played her on-screen husband Keegan.
The Sun reported that they ‘spent the night together’ after a trip to the cinema – and were later seen on a day out with their families in Essex.
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It's been a busy time for Maisie as the 20-year-old has moved on from Albert Square to rubbing shoulders with established presenters Alison Hammond and Vernon Kay on a new Beeb show.
The Strictly favourite has landed a job on Friends Like These, a remake of the programme originally presented by Geordie duo Ant and Dec.
Each episode sees two teams of five friends competing against one another in a series of head-to-head challenges in a bid to win a holiday.
While Alison and Vernon take care of presenting on the reboot, Maisie is expected to captain a team on the show.
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