BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice dealt blow as Kai Widdrington exits project

Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice
-Credit: (Image: Giovanni Pernice Instagram)

Strictly Come Dancing's Kai Widdrington has had to withdraw from an upcoming dance workshop event alongside fellow Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice. Giovanni took to Instagram on Tuesday to share news about a London-based dance class workshop he was set to host with Kai, who is currently in a relationship with fellow Strictly co-star Nadiya Bychkova.

The exclusive event, priced at £100 per participant, was being organised by Ballando UK. However, shortly after the initial announcement, Ballando UK updated their Instagram followers that due to a diary mix-up, Kai would not be able to make it on the 28th July.

Their post explained: "Unfortunately Kai is no longer able to attend on the 28th July due to other commitments... crossed diaries!" The message continued with reassurances for those looking forward to the joint session: "Both Kai and Gio were really looking forward to teaching together again, so we'll try and find another date that works.

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"Gio will still be taking classes on the 28th July - same time, same classes, same location... Further to follow re booking! See you soon! ".

Kai is busy touring the UK with his partner Nadiya, with performances scheduled throughout the month. Despite Kai's absence, Giovanni's solo workshop remains available for booking, with tickets starting at £60, reports the Mirror.

Additionally, a special judges workshop featuring Giovanni, Shirley Ballas, and Anton Du Beke is on the cards. This unique event offers individual workshops with each of the three Strictly sensations, although only Shirley's Jive workshop tickets, costing £100, are still up for grabs.

Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice found himself in the spotlight earlier this year when it was revealed that his 2023 dance partner, Amanda Abbington, who had to withdraw from the BBC competition, lodged complaints against the professional dancer. The Sherlock actress alleged that Giovanni "stamped on her foot" during his "militant" training sessions, which led to an investigation into his rehearsal methods.

The BBC is said to be conducting a probe into these allegations, and there are also rumours that Giovanni has decided to leave Strictly. However, neither the broadcaster nor Giovanni have confirmed or refuted these claims.

In a statement, the BBC urged the public "not to indulge in speculation", emphasising that "anyone involved in a complaint has a right to confidentiality and fair process".

"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 statment noted.

Giovanni strongly denied the allegations, stating on Instagram: "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. Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni."