Sam Thompson has said he is "so proud" of his girlfriend Zara McDermott following her Strictly Come Dancing debut on Saturday.

The former Made in Chelsea star, 31, took to his Instagram Stories to share his excitement with fans as the launch show for the 2023 series aired, featuring ex-Love Islander Zara, 26, who will be competing for the Glitterball trophy.

Sam, who has been dating Zara since May 2019, hosted a viewing party at his home and cheered his girlfriend on, as it was revealed that she's been partnered with Graziano Di Prima.

He shared a gushing post about Zara, who found fame on Love Island, branding her a "star".

"You're going to be a…. STAR," he penned alongside a photograph of Zara and Graziano, who is married to fellow dancer Giada Lini.

Sam added: "She's always wanted this. I'm so proud @zara_mcdermott," with three red heart emojis.

Zara will be competing on this year's Strictly against the likes of Les Dennis, Bobby Brazier, Angela Scanlon, Nikita Kanda and Adam Thomas.

Ahead of her stint on the BBC One show, the TV presenter has opened up about the 'Strictly curse' and why she and Sam aren't worried about their romance.

And in a new interview with The Sun's Fabulous Magazine, Zara said: "We've never had to have that conversation because we both work in very intense environments."

She later continued: "We would never hold each other back from doing anything. Neither of us are jealous people."

However, she did admit that she's feeling extremely nervous and is "not a natural-born performer".

When asked about how she's feeling Zara explained: “I think I’m probably the most nervous I’ve been in my life. I’m not a natural-born performer or extrovert, so this is the biggest challenge of my life!”

This comes after Zara, who has gone on to front BBC documentaries following her reality TV stint, previously told OK! that starring on the BBC dance show is a "dream come true."

"I watch it every single year and have done since I was around seven," she said. "I’m a massive fan of the dances and the pros, so when I met them I was like ‘oh my god I’m a big fan’."

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