Amanda Abbington 'thrilled' over new role as Giovanni Pernice quits BBC Strictly Come Dancing

Amanda Abbington has landed a huge new role as the lead in theatrical memoir When It Happens To You - as her old rival Giovanni Pernice QUITS BBC Strictly Come Dancing. The BBC Sherlock actress, who was left with PTSD after her partnering with Giovanni for last year's series, says she is "thrilled" to be a part of the new show.

Amanda said: "When Jez [Bond, director] sent me When It Happens to You, I immediately read it in one sitting – I couldn’t put it down. The story is important and necessary, and the characters are nuanced, complex and completely relatable.

"The Mother character of Tara is a gift of a role for any actor, and I’m thrilled to be working with Jez Bond who I know will direct the piece with the care and sensitivity it deserves." Jez added: "When It Happens to You is an important, timely and powerful piece of theatre. I’m thrilled to be working with Amanda Abbington who read the play and, like me, immediately felt compelled to do it.

READ MORE Camilla says Charles is 'quite cross' as she issues rare cancer update

"The best theatre is often a story told simply that connects to the heart of the audience, and I can’t think of a more powerful play to present within the intimate setting of Park200. By equal turns heartbreaking and hopeful, we invite you in to experience this truly theatrical page turner.”

Speaking about theatre earlier this year, Amanda said: "World Theatre Day. One of my favourite things in the entire world. Telling stories, so important and so vital. Theatre, music, art can change and shape people’s lives. I’m very fortunate I am allowed to do the job I love. Here are four of my favourite plays I’ve been involved in. I’m very lucky, I know."

It comes after it was reported that Giovanni quit Strictly despite being talks for another series. The BBC was said to be "very keen" on continuing their collaboration with the 33-year-old Italian but he has reportedly decided the scrutiny is "too much".