Could this be a first for Strictly? This story has been updated...

As the Strictly Come Dancing rumour mill goes into overdrive for the 2018 series, it’s tantalisingly been revealed that professional dancer Dianne Buswell and her Emmerdale star boyfriend Anthony Quinlan could become the first real-life couple paired together on the BBC1 hit.

Anthony, 33, who plays Pete Barton in Emmerdale, is being tipped to be part of the new series, leading to the prospect of him hitting the dancefloor with his girlfriend, Dianne, 28, who last year was paired with Richard Coles.

The grand ball 2018 #onceuponasmile #manchester @anthonyquinny #redcarpet

A post shared by Dianne Buswell (@diannebuswell) on

According to The Sun, the makers believe their chemistry could be a winner and draw in viewers. “Bosses think their real-life chemistry would be a massive draw for viewers and would really rev up the competition,” said a source.

Alas, just as everyone was getting excited an Emmerdale spokesperson threw a spanner in the works, saying on behalf of the actor: “There are no plans for Anthony to do Strictly.”

Anthony has played Pete on Emmerdale since 2013, while Australian Dianne made her debut on Strictly last year, being the second couple eliminated with Richard.

Meanwhile, other rumours for this year’s Strictly include one of the Spice Girls signing up and Treasure Island legend Anneka Rice taking part.

Strictly Come Dancing returns in the autumn.