It’s been an emotional few weeks for Rachel Stevens, who continues to mourn the tragic loss of her S Club 7 bandmate, Paul Cattermole, who died last month aged just 46.

But according to a source, Rachel, 45, who split from her husband Alex Bourne, 45, last summer, is being supported more than ever by her former Dancing On Ice partner Brendyn Hatfield.

Last week, it was reported that Brendyn, 37, who was paired with Rachel on last year’s show, has grown close to the singer away from the ice.

“What initially started as a close friendship between them has blossomed,” said our source. “Rachel has suffered a difficult time of late, but Brendyn has been a shoulder for her to lean on.”

Heartbroken Rachel thanked fans on Instagram for their “beautiful messages of love and support” following the sad news about her bandmate, writing, “The outpouring of love for our Paul has been so incredibly special and has meant so much. An absolute shining star who we will love and miss always. RIP darling Paul.”

At the time of her marriage collapse, Rachel, who shares daughters Amelie, 12, and Minnie, nine, with her childhood sweetheart ex, commented that she was “not ready yet” to date.

But according to our source, her friendship with Brendyn has gone up a level since she moved out of the family home in February.

“Rachel didn’t expect it – having only just split from her husband – but she wants to go with the flow and see if there’s really something there,” said our source.

American Brendyn – who separated from his skating professional wife Jessica two years ago – and Rachel were voted off after just three weeks on Dancing On Ice, after losing out in the skate-off against Olympic BMX rider Kye Whyte.

Rachel said at the time that the gruelling training and demanding performances had “definitely been a process”, but added that she’d loved “dancing with Brendyn”.

According to our source, the shock death of her bandmate Paul has caused a shift in Rachel’s attitude, and she’s now more determined than ever to live life to the fullest.

Our source said, “Paul’s passing has encouraged her to embrace every moment.”

And with plans for a 25th anniversary reunion tour underway well before the tragic news of Paul’s death broke, it seems S Club 7 are determined to press ahead with the concerts, this time as a six-piece.

“Rachel and the band are still heartbroken over Paul’s passing, but they’re still planning to go ahead with the tour,” our source said. “They have spoken almost every day since and are constantly checking in on each other.”


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