Gorka Marquez reveals how Strictly stars reacted to Giovanni Pernice's exit

Gorka Marquez says Giovanni Pernice will be 'missed': 'It is sad for everybody'

Gorka Marquez on Strictly Come Dancing
Gorka Marquez reveals how Strictly family reacted to Giovanni Pernice's exit. (Getty)

Gorka Marquez has lifted the lid on how the whole Strictly "family" were feeling when Giovanni Pernice left the BBC show.

Pernice has been part of the show for nine years since he first joined in 2015. His last celebrity partner Amanda Abbington left early in the 2023 series and later she claimed his training had been "militant". BBC are investigating the claims. Pernice has vowed to clear his name and he has rejected allegations that he displayed “abusive or threatening behaviour”.

Marquez appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside fellow professional dancer Karen Hauer to discuss the upcoming 20th series of the show. It was revealed in the Strictly line-up that Pernice would be leaving but Amy Dowden would be returning to the show. The stars are drumming up excitement around the show, as well as addressing the Pernice controversy, with Strictly stars speaking about teaching styles on This Morning last week.

Read more: What Strictly's pros have said about the Giovanni Pernice drama

Anton & Giovanni's Adventures In Spain
Giovanni Pernice is on tour with Anton Du Beke. (BBC)

Susanna Reid broached on the touchy subject saying: "Can I just ask about Gio?" She then added: "He's not going to be involved, what is that like for the Strictly family when someone on that level leaves?"

Marquez is the latest Strictly star to talk about Pernice's drama as he admitted the star would be "missed" and that it is "sad for everybody" on the show.

He said: "I mean I think it’s like when Aljaz (Škorjanec) leaves or Oti (Mabuse) left, you know? Or when Anton (Du Beke) left to go to the judge. Everyone is missed. Everyone is big part of show when someone decides to leave or change their careers. It’s sad for everybody."

Read more: Strictly pros discuss teaching styles after Giovanni Pernice drama

Good Morning Britain presenter Adil Ray then asked whether Marquez had stayed in touch with Pernice since he left the show. Marquez responded: "Sometimes we speak. Obviously, he's so busy, I'm busy. He’s on tour with Anton."

Reid quickly moved the conversation along as she said: "The Strictly juggernaut moves on doesn't it?" She added: "I know whenever contestants leave, as someone who was in it, you look at the show and you think how can you carry on? You've left me behind. That's the nature of the show."

Karen Clifton and Gorka Marquez seen at the Strictly Come Dancing
Gorka Marquez appeared on Good Morning Britain with Karen. (Getty)

Some Strictly stars have spoken out in support of Pernice, including the head judge. Recently, Shirley Ballas defended Pernice as the "perfect gentleman", having been friends for a decade and she insisted: "The truth will come out."

Ballas told The Mirror: "My mother loves him. It does not matter when he is on tour, or where he is or what he is doing, he will make his way across and he will say ‘Lovely to see you Shirley. Lovely to see your mum.’

"I have got so many beautiful pictures, of the times that he spent, particularly when my mum was poorly, and he reached out. So he has always been to me, and I will make that clear, to me... a perfect gentleman."

Anton Du Beke has also continued his tour with his friend Pernice for Anton & Giovanni - Together. They took their friendship from Strictly to Spain with BBC travel series Anton and Giovanni's Adventures In Spain.

Watch Good Morning Britain every weekday on 6am.