Peter Andre defends Giovanni Pernice amid Strictly Come Dancing controversy

Peter Andre on the red carpet
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))

Peter Andre has broken the silence on his experience with Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice amid the ongoing row surrounding the Italian dancer.

The 33-year-old professional dancer, who's recently found himself under the spotlight due to allegations surrounding his conduct on the show, is reportedly under legal threat from three of his prior Strictly partners according to the Mirror.

Meanwhile, BBC bosses are believed to have initiated an internal review regarding the matter after it has been brought to their attention. The dancer, however, has refuted all allegations of "abusive or threatening behaviour" in a social media post.

His partner for the 2023 series was actress Amanda Abbington, who had to withdraw early due to health issues. She later revealed a diagnosis with PTSD. Peter Andre has given his take on the situation after rumours circulated that Giovanni has exited Strictly after nearly a decade.

"When I was on Strictly, he was lovely to me and we got on very well," he told OK! Magazine. "Whenever we bump into each other it's always great. I never saw anything untoward. But in situations like this, we never really know what's going on and I can only talk about my experiences with people."

Giovanni has been hit with abuse claims from previous dancing partners -Credit:Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Peter appeared on the dance competition in 2015, partnered with Janette Manrara. They made it until week 10, finishing seventh overall. Giovanni joined the same year Peter competed, paired with actress Georgia May Foote, and they secured second place in the show.

Giovanni has reportedly left the show after nine years. This follows an internal memo leak that failed to list Giovanni among this year's professional dancers.

In response to the ensuing controversy, Giovanni issued a statement saying: "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.

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"Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive. No-one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me. I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be. This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win - for me and my dance partners. Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni."

Over the weekend, Giovanni received a wave of support from fans, including his former celebrity partner Debbie McGee. After Giovanni appealed to fans on social media to vote for him and Anton Du Beke at the National Television Awards, Debbie, who danced with Giovanni in 2017, responded with: "On it" and a heart emoji, showing her support.

When the rumours first surfaced, Debbie wasted no time in declaring her allegiance. She shared a nostalgic snap of her and the dancer on social media, captioning it: "Happy memories, Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly." Giovanni didn't hesitate to show his gratitude for the support, responding with: "Love you ... thank you," in the comments.

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