Former Strictly star Ben Cohen went into panic mode after girlfriend Kristina Rihanoff discovered he'd been texting Emmerdale's Gemma Oaten

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Ben Cohen sent a string of texts to Emmerdale actress Gemma Oaten, leaving the sexy star ‘confused’ – and his girlfriend Kristina Rihanoff reportedly ‘alarmed’.

Ben – who got together with Kristina after splitting from his wife of 11 years in 2014 – was forced to send frantic messages to Gemma and her friends asking them to deny they were having a fling after the Russian dancer found out about the messages, the Sunday Mirror reports.

Gemma – Emmerdale’s Rachel Breckle – first met Ben at a charity event in May where they reportedly swapped numbers, with Ben apparently going on to ask her to go for a drink.

She declined, but the pair later went on to swap text messages, and even tweets.

In one exchange, Ben praised Gemma for her charity work, and went on to say: ‘Need a catch up!’

Gemma replied: ‘We blooming do! Get on it Ben! xx’

Ben tweeted a reply: ‘On it.’

Speaking to the paper, gorgeous Gemma revealed: ‘I did get messages from Ben. They were harmless but I was a little confused about what to make of them at first.’

She also insisted that she had not been in a relationship with Ben, saying: ‘I respect he has a girlfriend and we have never been more than just friends. He is a lovely person and we share a passion for charity work.’

But a friend of the soap star revealed how Ben was sent into panic mode after Kristina found out about the texts.

She said: ‘He sent a frantic group text, apologising for the childish nature of it all but explaining that Kristina had been told he was pestering Gemma for a date.

‘Kristina was clearly upset and he was trying to do some damage control.

‘He said obviously it wasn’t true – he had only been messaging Gemma as friends – but would they mind texting Kristina to explain that.

‘Gemma told Kristina she was a beautiful woman and she had a lovely trustworthy boyfriend in Ben.

‘Kristina wrote back to suggest they all meet up for a drink and that it was essentially a storm in a tea-cup.’

The friend added: ‘Gemma felt like piggy in the middle of a ridiculous situation.

‘Kristina was clearly concerned someone else was getting her hands on her man.’

The incident is just the latest drama in Ben and Kristina’s relationship, which has had its fair share of ups and downs.

Rumours that the couple were getting it on swirled after Kristina was paired with Ben – then happily married to wife Abby – for his stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013, although they always denied any romantic involvement between them at the time.

Then Ben split from Abby in September 2014 – but continued to insist that Kristina was not a factor.

The rumours surrounding her relationship with Ben even led Kristina to break down in tears, before the couple finally confirmed they were together earlier this year, with Kristina saying, ‘We are in a committed relationship.’

However, the drama didn’t end there as Ben was forced to move back into the marital home he shared with Abby due to financial reasons in September. Awkward.