BBC finally addresses Giovanni Pernice Strictly Come Dancing probe

Giovanni Pernice (PA Archive)
Giovanni Pernice (PA Archive)

The BBC has finally addressed the investigation into Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice’s behaviour.

The Italian pro dancer’s future on the show remains uncertain, though recent reports suggest he has left the series and will not be returning later this year.

The 33-year-old is currently being investigated for “serious workplace misconduct” after three of his former partners made a complaint to the BBC. Pernice has defended himself on social media and is said to have also hired legal representation to contest the allegations.

Amid the reports, the broadcaster has now made a rare comment: “It is a longstanding position that the BBC does not comment on specific matters related to individuals. Nor ordinarily, would we comment on whether we are reviewing any individual complaints.

“Recently, we have seen a number of media reports about a high profile show. We would urge people not to indulge in speculation. Anyone involved in a complaint has a right to confidentiality and fair process.

Pernice dancing with celeb partner Amanda Abbington last year (BBC/Guy Levy)
Pernice dancing with celeb partner Amanda Abbington last year (BBC/Guy Levy)

“If a complaint is made to the BBC, we assess and take any necessary steps to establish the facts, whether there is a case to answer, and, if appropriate, what action should be taken.

“This is all within the context of the BBC having duties of care to everyone linked to a complaint - that applies to those that have raised the complaint and to those that have been complained about.

“Whilst we know our shows have been positive experiences for many of those who have taken part, we will always look at any issues raised with care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned. We will not be commenting further.”

The dancer has strongly denied that there is any truth to the allegations, stating he “rejects any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and looks forward to clearing his name”.

Taking to Instagram last week, he wrote: “To my dear fans, You will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week. Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name.

“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.”

Reports about his alleged conduct on Strictly first surfaced amidst rumors of a behind-the-scenes feud with Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington. She quit the show last year after five weeks and is now believed to be seeking legal advice.

While Abbington cited "personal reasons" for her exit, it later emerged that she had requested video footage of her rehearsals and was diagnosed with mild PTSD following her time on Strictly.

Three women, whose identities haven't been confirmed by Strictly or Pernice, have sought the services of law firm Carter-Ruck to investigate Giovanni's behaviour.

A Carter Ruck spokesperson told The Standard earlier this month: “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.”