BBC Strictly's Giovanni Pernice in talks to 'return to show' after bullying claims

-Credit: (Image: PA/BBC)

Giovanni Pernice is reportedly engaging in talks for a return to the dance floor, but it appears he'll be stepping out on a different stage, as it's not the UK version of the beloved series.

The professional dancer is said to be catching the eye of Italian TV chiefs who are keen on recruiting him for the Italian version of the show in Italy, according to reports in the Mirror.

Last year, Giovanni found himself at the centre of controversy, with accusations of bullying levelled against him by Amanda Abbington, who he was most recently paired with on the BBC show. Giovanni insisted that the allegations were significantly exaggerated after news broke of his departure from Strictly amid what was described as a work-related "misconduct" inquiry.

Over the recent weekend, Giovanni addressed what he dubbed "the latest accusations" and declared his dedication to clearing his name as the BBC inquiry continues. Addressing the reported "totally untrue stories" via a social media post, he voiced his appreciation on the overwhelming support from fans.

It is believed that Giovanni looking for a fresh start, by gearing up for a brand new gig on Italy's Dancing with the Stars, according to reports from Mail Online. This move might afford him an opportunity to stay in step with his performance career.

Giovanni Pernice
The Italian professional dancer is determined to clear his name -Credit:WireImage

A well-placed insider revealed to the publication: "Giovanni is in advanced talks to join the Italian version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars," adding that the powers-that-be would very much like to see him on their panel of judges due to his recognition and fan base stemming from his time in the UK. However, they're also open to the idea of Giovanni continuing as a professional competitor should he decide that's the path he wishes to continue.

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The source added: "It's a great move for Giovanni, who has weighed up the possibility of doing shows like I'm A Celeb, but dance will always be his passion. All he wants is a fresh start and to join Dancing with the Stars in Italian will certainly give him the new chapter he's been hoping for."

The Italian dancing sensation missed out on this year's Strictly, amid a whirlwind of speculation and denials regarding his behaviour during his last stint on the program. His dance partnership with actress Amanda Abbington came to an end early in the previous season, not long before she opened up about her post-traumatic stress disorder ordeal. In light of allegations raised by Abbington and others, rumours have circulated about a consequent internal investigation by the BBC.

In the early hours of Sunday, Giovanni took to Instagram to address his fans and followers directly. He said: "To my fans and followers, Every week, there are totally untrue stories about me in the media. As you know, I have always rejected any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour. The latest accusations are simply false."

He continued: "I am cooperating fully with the ongoing BBC investigation, which will determine the truth. As requested, I have stayed silent, but I am looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth. I am so happy to be back on tour. Thank you all for your continued support you messages and love mean so very much to me. I will hopefully see many of you very soon and I look forward to clearing my name. With love, Giovanni."

Giovanni's representatives have been approached for their response

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