Giovanni Pernice Will Not Be In Strictly Come Dancing This Year

Here's everything to know about the reports...

Giovanni Pernice

by Alice Hall |
Updated on

Giovanni Pernice will not be returning for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing. The Italian dancer, 33, is a notable absence from the announcement of the professionals line-up for the show's 20th anniversary this year. It follows rumours that Gio quit the show last month amid controversy and alleged rifts with some of his co-stars.

Vito Coppola, who lifted the Glitterball trophy with actress Ellie Leach last year, is back alongside favourites Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima and Neil Jones. Dianne Buswell, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Nadiya Bychkova and Luba Mushtuk are amongst the pros who will be back to dazzle and delight on the dancefloor.

Amy Dowden - who is recovering from stage three breast cancer - is returning to the ballroom as she is confirmed for the line-up.

Gio, 33, is thought to be the subject of an internal investigation and has denied 'any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour'. He has vowed to 'clearing my name'.

He thanked his fans for their support on Instagram, writing: 'Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive. No-one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me. I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be. This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win - for me and my dance partners.'

The story came to the forefront last year when Amanda Abbington, who was teamed up with Giovanni in the last series of the show, requested ‘tense footage’ of her rehearsals with him after unexpectedly quitting the show.


Reports in March then suggested that Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore, both of whom were previously partnered with Giovanni on the show, met with Amanda for a 'tearful summit' where they spoke about their 'difficult experiences' working with Giovanni who is 'known to be intense during training.'

Giovanni, who has been a professional dancer on the show since 2015, hasn’t commented on the reports. Grazia has reached out to Giovanni's representatives for comment.

Here's everything we know so far...

Has Giovanni Pernice quit Strictly?

Last month, it was reported that Giovanni would be leaving Strictly because of alleged tensions with his celebrity partners. According to The Sun, TV insiders said that Giovanni is now seeking new opportunities with other shows. A source told the publication, ‘He wants to focus on other TV projects, and feels he’s achieved all he can on Strictly, having won the trophy back in 2021 and reaching the final an unprecedented four times.’

They continued, ‘He remains adamant he’s done nothing wrong other than being a hard taskmaster but knows his style of training isn’t to everyone’s liking - especially in this day and age. He has a lot of other exciting projects in the pipeline right now, and he’s just super-excited to get cracking on them. This, now, is his priority.’

The Sun also reported that Giovanni’s name had not been included in an internal memo from Strictly listing this year's professional dancers.

What are the allegations against Giovanni?

Gio has made headlines since his 2023 partner Amanda quit the show, and has since faced a series of serious allegations from his former dance partners. Three of which, Amanda, Laura Whitmore and Ranvir Singh, reportedly said they were left 'traumatised' by the experience of working with him.

The Sherlock actress allegedly 'felt his behaviour was bullying and abrasive' and was 'in tears as communication between them broke down'. A source told The Sun, 'There would be crisis talks every Friday after producers watched back the video footage of their rehearsals but it would always end up toxic again by the end of the following week.'

Speaking on the Private Parts podcast, Amanda said, 'I'm still not ready to talk in depth about my experience on the show. I was placed with a dance partner I was extremely uncomfortable with and in the end I felt broken. I cried every day. And I really was broken, both mentally and physically, by the end.'

When Ranvir was partnered with him in 2020, she said, 'Don't be fooled by his angelic face! He is a fiery Italian, super strict - I am a bit scared of him,' while on Good Morning Britain and is said to have since exchanged stories with Amanda.

Meanwhile, Laura allegedly felt 'uncomfortable' while partnered with the dancer and reportedly had a 'tearful summit' with Amanda to discuss their 'difficult experiences' on the show, as well as whether to pursue legal action.

Who were Giovanni Pernice’s partners on Strictly?

Giovanni joined the show in 2015, where he made it all the way to the final with Georgia May Foote. When their time on the show ended, Giovanni and Georgia became a couple and in 2016, Georgia told Fabulous Magazine that it was the ‘happiest’ she had ever been in a relationship. ‘I mean, don’t get me wrong I’ve been happy in other relationships, but this is very relaxed, nice and chilled,’ she said. However, they ended their relationship at the end of August, issuing a joint statement they were moving forward as ‘friends.’

In 2016, he was partnered with Georgia's friend Laura Whitmore, although reports at the time suggested relations were strained between the pair. In a first-person piece for the Huffington Post, Laura wrote, ‘I was placed with a dance partner I was extremely uncomfortable with – and in the end I felt broken, I cried every day. And I really was broken, both mentally and physically, by the end.’


Giovanni was partnered with Debbie McGee in 2017, and the pair made it to the final - and there doesn't seem to be any bad blood between them. Earlier this year, she took to Instagram to share her fond memories of working with the star, writing, ‘Happy memories. Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly.’ Faye Tozer became Giovanni’s dance partner in 2018, and the pair narrowly missed out on winning the trophy to Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton.

© Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Giovanni’s partner for 2019 was Michelle Visage, who quickly quelled rumours that there was tension between the pair. In an Instagram statement, she wrote, ‘The articles about my partner and I have been upsetting,’ continuing ‘If anyone knows us, you would know how close Giovanni and I are. Gio is my best friend in this competition, he is my rock and I trust him with everything. We have the most fun and laughs together and to suggest otherwise is just sad.’

In 2020, Giovanni was partnered with Ranvir Singh, who quickly became popular with fans due to their onscreen chemistry - many even speculated that romance could be blossoming between the pair. Giovanni denied these rumours, telling Entertainment Weekly 'Every year there's always a romance rumour with a different partner. I mean, even if you don't have a partner there's a rumour. The thing is you get very close when you dance with another person, but dancing is equal to acting. You have to deliver a performance. Each dance is a different story.'

He won the glitter ball with Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021, who only had positive things to say about Giovanni. ‘He came into my world and brought the best out of me. I cannot thank him enough for all the work and effort to make me become the dancer that I am today. Winning the Glitterball is the best gift I could ever give to Giovanni because he really deserves it,’ she said after their win.

©(Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

In 2022, Giovanni and his dance partner Richie Anderson became the first male same-sex couple. When the show came to an end, Richie wrote in an Instagram post that Giovanni had been an ‘amazing’ teacher.

Giovanni's most recent partner, Amanda Abbington, came to an early end when Amanda quit the show. According to a source earlier this year, Amanda is seeking legal advice to obtain behind-the-scenes footage of the rehearsals for Strictly, and revealed she had mild PTSD after her time on the show. At the time of Amanda's exit from the show, Giovanni shared a post on Instagram. Alongside an image of him and Amanda backstage in their pyjamas, he wrote ‘Amanda .. I am so sad we can’t continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love @amanda_abbington74 @bbcstrictly.’

©(Photo by MEGA/GC Images)

A statement from law firm Carter-Ruck to the PA news agency confirmed, 'There have been numerous serious complaints made to the BBC who are now in the process of evidence gathering. As it is still an ongoing matter no further comment can be made at this stage.'

BBC Breakfast presenter Jon Kay asked Stacey Dooley, who appeared on Strictly in 2018 and won the show, about the allegations. He said, 'While you’re here, before we get to the news, I have to talk to you about Strictly. Giovanni made a statement over the weekend saying he rejects any suggestion of any threatening or abusive behaviour, and you don’t want to talk about that case and those allegations, but I guess it shines a spotlight on the intensity of that Strictly world.'

Stacey responded saying, 'Yeah, what I would say is I don’t have a friendship with Giovanni. I didn’t even have a working relationship with Giovanni. And I haven’t been involved with that show for years. So it would be probably irresponsible for me to comment on that.'

However, she added, 'What I would say, more broadly, is I hope all of the women involved are ok. And I think, actually, it’s separate from this but in my personal experience, I think it’s a slippery slope not to believe women when they come forward and say certain things. But I just hope they’re ok.'

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