Melanie Sykes enjoys a casual stroll with a friend after romance with her Italian toyboy

Melanie Sykes was seen on a casual stroll with a friend in London earlier this month, weeks after flouting lockdown rules to visit her Italian toyboy Riccardo Simionato, 23.

The presenter, 50, appeared in great spirits as she engaged in a socially-distanced chat with model Jake Smith, 39, in Hampstead Heath.

Last month, the broadcaster visited Venice twice as she enjoyed a steamy fling with gondolier Riccardo, and even came under fire after failing to quarantine upon returning to the UK.  

In good company: Melanie Sykes was seen on a casual stroll with a friend in London earlier this month

In good company: Melanie Sykes was seen on a casual stroll with a friend in London earlier this month

In good company: Melanie Sykes was seen on a casual stroll with a friend in London earlier this month

Cutting a typically radiant figure, the former model wrapped up in a longline black coat and a patterned scarf.

The former I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! star looked effortlessly chic as she teamed her outerwear with a plain jumper, skinny jeans and leather boots.

With her tresses worn in a tousled fashion, the brunette accessorised with square-framed shades and went make-up free. 

Melanie and her pal Jake were deep in conversation as they walked through the park together.

Fling: The presenter, 50, came under fire last month for flouting lockdown rules to visit her Italian toyboy Riccardo Simionato, 23 (pictured)

Fling: The presenter, 50, came under fire last month for flouting lockdown rules to visit her Italian toyboy Riccardo Simionato, 23 (pictured)

Fling: The presenter, 50, came under fire last month for flouting lockdown rules to visit her Italian toyboy Riccardo Simionato, 23 (pictured)

Catching up: The TV star appeared in great spirits as she engaged in a socially-distanced chat with model Jake Smith, 39, in Hampstead Heath

Catching up: The TV star appeared in great spirits as she engaged in a socially-distanced chat with model Jake Smith, 39, in Hampstead Heath

Catching up: The TV star appeared in great spirits as she engaged in a socially-distanced chat with model Jake Smith, 39, in Hampstead Heath

Casual style: Cutting a typically radiant figure, the former model wrapped up in a longline black coat and a patterned scarf

Casual style: Cutting a typically radiant figure, the former model wrapped up in a longline black coat and a patterned scarf

Casual style: Cutting a typically radiant figure, the former model wrapped up in a longline black coat and a patterned scarf

All in the details: The former I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! star looked effortlessly chic as she teamed her outerwear with a plain jumper, skinny jeans and leather boots

All in the details: The former I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! star looked effortlessly chic as she teamed her outerwear with a plain jumper, skinny jeans and leather boots

All in the details: The former I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! star looked effortlessly chic as she teamed her outerwear with a plain jumper, skinny jeans and leather boots 

On their friendship, a source told The Sun: ‘They seemed very comfortable in each other’s company and were lost in conversation. She was smiling a lot and he had her full attention.’

It’s thought Melanie recently responded to one of Jake’s Instagram posts with the comment: ‘You are a gorgeous creature in every way,’ to which he responded: ‘“Back at you.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Melanie Sykes for comment.

Less is more: With her tresses worn in a tousled fashion, the brunette accessorised with square-framed shades and went make-up free.

Less is more: With her tresses worn in a tousled fashion, the brunette accessorised with square-framed shades and went make-up free.

Less is more: With her tresses worn in a tousled fashion, the brunette accessorised with square-framed shades and went make-up free.

Just the two of us: Melanie and her pal Jake were deep in conversation as they walked through the park together

Just the two of us: Melanie and her pal Jake were deep in conversation as they walked through the park together

Just the two of us: Melanie and her pal Jake were deep in conversation as they walked through the park together

No chapped lips over here! At one point, the media personality applied balm to her lips

No chapped lips over here! At one point, the media personality applied balm to her lips

No chapped lips over here! At one point, the media personality applied balm to her lips

Calm before the storm: The pair stepped out for a friendly walk days before UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plunged London and south-east England into a new Tier 4 system

Calm before the storm: The pair stepped out for a friendly walk days before UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plunged London and south-east England into a new Tier 4 system

Relaxed: Mental health advocate Jake looked equally low-key in a denim jacket, a hooded jumper and black joggers by Nike

Relaxed: Mental health advocate Jake looked equally low-key in a denim jacket, a hooded jumper and black joggers by Nike

Calm before the storm: The pair stepped out for a friendly walk days before UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plunged London and south-east England into a new Tier 4 system

Getting on like a house on fire: Melanie couldn't contain her delight as she grinned from ear-to-ear

Getting on like a house on fire: Melanie couldn't contain her delight as she grinned from ear-to-ear

Getting on like a house on fire: Melanie couldn’t contain her delight as she grinned from ear-to-ear

Close: On their friendship, an insider recently claimed they seem 'very comfortable in each other¿s company'

Close: On their friendship, an insider recently claimed they seem 'very comfortable in each other¿s company'

Close: On their friendship, an insider recently claimed they seem ‘very comfortable in each other’s company’

The media personality has hit headlines in recent days for flouting strict COVID-19 rules by flying to Venice to see her lover and not isolating on her return to London

Melanie was pictured in the city visiting the boatman on November 21, before flying home to the UK and stepping out in the English capital on November 24.

The Blind Date voiceover artist had uploaded photos of herself at The May Fair Hotel, inside on a bed, and strutting around on the street, to Instagram.

TV star Mel claimed to be filming at the posh venue, with ITN later apologising for not adhering to covid-19 protocols.  

A spokesperson said in a statement: ‘Filming with Melanie Sykes was mistakenly conducted without taking into account the covid protocols necessary after travel.

‘There was no deliberate attempt to break any rules. We apologise for the error and have reminded our teams of all COVID protocols.’  

Uh oh: Melanie was pictured in Venice visiting her boatman beau on November 21, before flying home to the UK and stepping out in the English capital on November 24 (pictured)

Uh oh: Melanie was pictured in Venice visiting her boatman beau on November 21, before flying home to the UK and stepping out in the English capital on November 24 (pictured)

Uh oh: Melanie was pictured in Venice visiting her boatman beau on November 21, before flying home to the UK and stepping out in the English capital on November 24 (pictured)

What pandemic? ITN productions later apologised for filming with the Blind Date voiceover artist without adhering to COVID-19 protocols

What pandemic? ITN productions later apologised for filming with the Blind Date voiceover artist without adhering to COVID-19 protocols

What pandemic? ITN productions later apologised for filming with the Blind Date voiceover artist without adhering to COVID-19 protocols

At the time, England was in its last week of a second national lockdown, with only essential travel being permitted and citizens were being told to stay at home. 

Those that must travel – including British nationals – then had to self-isolate for a strict 14-day period.  

Melanie and the gondolier, who is 27 years her junior, first enjoyed a six-day romance in October, after she paid him £72 for a half hour’s ride on his gondola.

The Today with Des and Mel star shared glimpses of her romantic getaway with Riccardo to Instagram in November, with the couple recently enjoying a day out in Lake Garda.  

Shrewd: After the trip, the Ashton-under-Lyne native posted snaps of her views across Venice, with one follower asking - 'If you were there a week ago, how come you're not self isolating?'

Shrewd: After the trip, the Ashton-under-Lyne native posted snaps of her views across Venice, with one follower asking - 'If you were there a week ago, how come you're not self isolating?'

Shrewd: After the trip, the Ashton-under-Lyne native posted snaps of her views across Venice, with one follower asking – ‘If you were there a week ago, how come you’re not self isolating?’

Link hienalouca.com

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