Giovanni Pernice’s former Strictly partners ‘fume as BBC stands by untouchable pro’

Giovanni Pernice pictured above (Getty)
Giovanni Pernice pictured above (Getty)

Three of Giovanni Pernice’s previous Strictly Come Dancing partners are reportedly furious, alleging that he's considered “untouchable” by the BBC who have thrown their support behind him.

The 33-year-old professional dancer was last partnered with Amanda Abbington on the BBC series. However, rumours of a feud between them emerged after she withdrew from the show a month in.

It's been reported that despite support from other Strictly stars, his former celeb dance partners Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore have met with Abbington to discuss their own challenging experiences working with Pernice.

Insiders have revealed that the trio had an “emotional summit” where they “compared notes” about their experiences working with the Italian dancer - weeks after it was reported that Abbington was seeking legal advice.

An insider told MailOnline: “They are very unhappy with the way the BBC are handling this. It’s one thing saying they are standing by him, but they feel as if Giovanni is being promoted and pushed centre stage in a bid to make them go away and keep quiet. It’s a kick in the teeth.

“One of the reasons they wanted to meet up was to try and work on a way forward because they have no intention of just backing down and letting this just fade away.

 (PA Media)
(PA Media)

“All three have been impacted in different ways by what happened and they’ve agreed to speak again about how best they can get something done about it because they are genuinely worried about want went on and the fact someone else could end up experiencing what they went through.

“But right now there’s a feeling that Gio is pretty much untouchable – especially given he is so close to Anton who thinks the world of him and can’t believe the stuff he’s been hearing claimed about his mate.”

Reports emerged last week suggesting that the trio were contemplating filing a "formal" complaint against him to the BBC after their alleged meeting “but for now they’re comforting each other”.

A source told The Sun: “Only a handful of people will understand what it’s like to be trained by Giovanni and in the industry, he is regarded as a ‘perfectionist’.

“There is some shock that the BBC appears to be doing nothing. Like Amanda, Ranvir also flagged an issue during training with Giovanni and said she was unhappy.”

However, a source close to Pernice told the outlet: “Gio finds some of these allegations deeply unfair and offensive. He believes he’s done nothing wrong, and simply wants to get the best out of his partners.”

Last month, Abbington denied "dropping action" against the BBC after it was claimed she was seeking legal action following her Strictly exit.

Although she hasn't elaborated much on her departure, attributing it to “personal reasons” initially, it was revealed that she requested video footage of her rehearsals and was diagnosed with mild PTSD after her time on Strictly.

The Standard has approached reps for Giovanni Pernice, Amanda Abbington, Laura Whitmore and Ranvir Singh for comment. The BBC had no comment when contacted.