ashley james
Ginuwine and Ashley James get cosy on the Celebrity Big Brother sofa Channel 5

Celebrity Big Brother viewers have reacted with shock to Ashley James and Ginuwine's on-air romance after the unlikely pair were filmed holding hands on Tuesday's show.

Sparks were flying between former Made in Chelsea star James and the Pony hitmaker, whose real name is Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, as they got touchy-feely on the sofa while chatting to other housemates.

While Dapper Laughs regaled his celebrity pals with talk of his new vampire film, the cameras were focusing on the blossoming lovebirds holding hands. Ginuwine, 47, made the first move.

The singer had opened up about his bond with James, 30, earlier in the day, joking in the Diary Room that they "might end up kissing in the spa".

He said: "Me and Ashley made a great connection last night and I think she'll probably be like a friend that I'll probably talk to a lot. She said she's gonna come over to the States if I'm home, she's gonna come up and we're gonna hang out.

"For some reason we just ended up on the couch last night for hours just talking so we definitely made some type of connection, friends, I don't know, whatever, but we really made a nice connection and I like that.

"I'm a person that wants to be friends first before anything else. You never know what might happen, you might find us kissing in the spa, who knows?"

Fans have gone wild over the possible romance, with one person tweeting: "There's nothing I hate more in reality TV than a showmance, but there's something about Ashley & Ginuwine I'm genuinely interested in seeing. Especially since it's not your typical British reality star showmance. #CBB".

Another tweeter said: "Calling out bullsh*t showmances are one of my favourite parts of #cbb but I actually think Ashley might like Ginuwine".

And a third tweeted: "Awwwww look at Ginuwine and Ashley intwining their pinky fingers. SO cute. #CBB xx".

Co-star Rachel Johnson, 52, later called the pair out on their flirting. "I saw what was going on on the sofa with my sparkly unicorn. I'm not leaving my bed for Ginuwine," she said.

A blushing Ashley hugged her and said: "You're not leaving, you're my bed lover."

Celebrity Big Brother continues tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.