Why did Giovanni Pernice leave Strictly? Everything we know

Giovanni Pernice has quit Strictly Come Dancing after nine years

Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice. (BBC/Guy Levy)
Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Giovanni Pernice has now officially left Strictly Come Dancing after being at a centre of ongoing tabloid story over his alleged "militant" approach to training on the BBC show. Amanda Abbington quit Strictly last year amid reports the couple were clashing off set.

This week the BBC confirmed the 2024 Strictly line-up with no mention of Pernice's exit. They confirmed the pro dancers are: Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Vito Coppola.

Pernice is at the centre of an internal BBC probe into "serious workplace misconduct". The dancer - who first starred on the BBC show in 2015 - has denied "any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour" and vowed to clear his name. He had been a professional on the show for nine years.

Latest reports claim that a male celebrity has been in touch with lawyers Carter Ruck to join the three women reportedly complaining about Pernice, according to The Sun.

Pernice's spokesperson told The Sun: "Schillings is engaging with BBC Studios to provide it with Giovanni’s evidence to strongly rebut the claims being made about him and confirm Giovanni is fully cooperating. As with any reality TV show, when decisions are being made for entertainment reasons, the producers have a duty of care to all participants."

The BBC promised to handle any complaints with "care, fairness and sensitivity", referring to a "high-profile" show believed to be Strictly.

Amanda Abbington dancing with Giovanni Pernice on Strictly.
Amanda Abbington dancing with Giovanni Pernice on Strictly. (BBC)

Rumours of a feud have been stirring in headlines for months between Pernice and Abbington who danced together on Strictly's 2023 series. Pernice admitted he is a "perfectionist" but he thought Abbington would make the final.

In January, Abbington revealed she was sent death threats after being diagnosed with mild post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It was alleged that Abbington had demanded Strictly rehearsals footage. Plus it was claimed Abbington met with his other former partners Laura Whitmore and Ranvir Singh to discuss their Strictly experiences, and they were rumoured to be planning legal action.

Celebrities who have danced with Pernice have shared their experiences including Debbie McGee who defended him. Strictly's head judge Shirley Ballas had defended Pernice in January saying he was an "absolute gentleman".

Pernice said he was looking forward to "clearing my name" as he spoke out against the allegations.

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."

In an interview with MailOnline, Abbington spoke on the subject and how she requested their training footage be recorded. She said: "I asked for them to be recorded – it was me. Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us – a group of us."

The actor added that she "went to producers early on and told them about Giovanni" and that since speaking out she's been trolled: "You don’t understand how awful this all is."

While some stars have spoken out in support of Pernice in the past few months, it appeared none of the Strictly stars have liked or commented on his post to offer public support.

Ant McPartlin's ex-wife Lisa Armstrong, who has worked for years as a makeup artist on Strictly, did however like the Instagram statement.

His post was inundated with support from fans. Among the comments, one wrote: "Giovanni, anyone who saw you with Rose could see the man you are. Keep your head up."

Others wrote: "I hope you stay on Strictly, it wouldn't be the same without you! X."

"You are a true professional. Winning should be important & if folk aren't prepared to put the work in, they should stay at home & watch TV! X."

"It’s rubbish. True professional. All your fans stand with you."

Anton & Giovanni's Adventures In Spain
What will Giovanni Pernice do after Strictly? (BBC)

It was reported Pernice wants to focus on his other TV projects in the pipeline. The pro dancer has hinted he would love a second series of Anton & Giovanni's Adventures In Spain in two posts on Instagram as well as in the finale of the show but no official decision on a follow-up season has been made yet.

Plus, it emerged he was tipped for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here this year. A source told The Sun: "ITV bosses have wanted him for years and now he is finally free... Everyone is eager to get him on board - he really would be ideal for those jungle showers." It was added: "They are expected to offer him big money and he's unlikely to turn it down really."

Yahoo has reached out to representatives for Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington for further comment as well as law firms Carter Ruck and Schillings.