Giovanni Pernice thanks BBC Strictly Come Dancing 'legends' as former co-star 'stays away'

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

Giovanni Pernice has thanked two Strictly Come Dancing 'legends' for their support as he joined them for a special event. Amid his exit from Strictly Come Dancing, the dancer has been keeping busy on tour with Anton Du Beke and his string of dance classes.

Over the weekend, Giovanni was joined by Anton and fellow BBC One dance contest judge Shirley Ballas and the trio held some session as part of Giovanni's Ballando dance classes.

A post shared to Ballando's Instagram page on Saturday (June 29) featured pictures of the dancers and TV stars and said: "We are SOLD OUT for tomorrow. Can't wait to see everyone there. It's going to be lots of fun!" Resharing the post to his own Instagram Story, Giovanni wrote: "It's happening!" (sic).

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Days later and Giovanni shared his appreciation to his former Strictly co-stars after it was confirmed he wouldn't be returning to the hit competition later this year. Sharing a beaming picture of the three of them together, the 33-year-old said on his Instagram Story: "A day of dancing with legends... thank you," alongside a red heart emoji.

Giovanni had been a part of Strictly since 2015 when he reached the grand final with Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote. Later, in 2021, he lifted the Strictly glitterball trophy alongside EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who was the first deaf contestant to win.

He was last paired with Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington, who withdrew from the competition in 2023 citing “personal reasons” but Giovanni has since been subject to a number of allegations regarding his conduct in the training room which he rejects

Giovanni was delighted to be working alongside Anton and Shirley -Credit:Giovanni Pernice Instagram
Giovanni was delighted to be working alongside Anton and Shirley -Credit:Giovanni Pernice Instagram

Weeks after his Strictly exit was confirmed, Shirley spoke out and described Giovanni as a "true gentleman" and as a "hard worker" who always tries his best. She told Best magazine: "I think everybody in the 'Strictly' cast is fantastic and I've known Giovanni a long, long time.

"I've known him probably longer than a lot of people have known him and I can only talk from personal experience. He's got a work ethic that is the same as mine. He works hard and he wants the best for anybody who wants to learn. He's a true gentleman, and of course, he always looks drop-dead gorgeous."

Meanwhile, Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer, who are set to return, making them the longest-serving male and female pros, have refused to be drawn on the reports on Giovanni's conduct.

Asked about the talk surrounding their former co-star and "his methods of practice" by OK! Magazine, Karen replied: " We've all been just so busy with our own tours. He's on tour as well. So it's been really tough to kind of even, you know, see one another. But, you know... he'll definitely be missed.

Gorka then added: "I don't know anything. I try to stay away from that. Strictly is not on. The only thing I know is, I am back and I'm excited that we start very soon."