Strictly Come Dancing star 'quits' BBC show after it gets 'too much'

Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing since 2018 -Credit:Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice has reportedly quit the BBC dance competition. The news comes after the dancer has faced allegations over his tough training methods from previous celebrity partners, including actress Amanda Abbington.

A source told The Sun: “Gio feels the scrutiny on him has become too much, and now is the time to make a fresh start. He wants to focus on other TV projects, and feels he’s achieved all he can on Strictly, having won the trophy back in 2021 and reaching the final an unprecedented four times.

“He remains adamant he’s done nothing wrong other than being a hard taskmaster, but knows his style of training isn’t to everyone’s liking — especially in this day and age. He has a lot of other exciting projects in the pipeline right now, and he’s just super-excited to get cracking on them. This, now, is his priority.”

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Giovanni joined the show in 2015, reaching the final in his first year with actress Georgia May Foote, and ­lifting the glitterball in 2021 with EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis. He recently defended his training methods, saying his partner last year Amanda could have got to the final if she'd stayed in the competition.

Giovanni and Amanda were partnered for Strictly last year
Giovanni with his Strictly 2023 partner Amanda Abbington -Credit:BBC

“I am a perfectionist, 100 per cent, but it comes from a perspective of caring," Giovanni told a podcast two months ago. "I think all of the professional dancers are in the same place. It’s a shame because, in my opinion, she (Amanda) could have gone all the way.” Last year Amanda shocked Strictly viewers when she sensationally quit the show. She later revealed that following her appearance, she was diagnosed with PTSD.

Since her departure, rumours have swirled that Amanda and partner Giovanni Pernice didn't end their dance partnership on good terms, after she failed to mention him in the Instagram statement addressing her Strictly exit. Other sources have claimed Giovanni's teaching methods had brought his previous celebrity partners to tears, while his 2019 partner Michelle Visage told This Morning viewers he's "the toughest pro there is". For the latest TV and showbiz news, sign up to our newsletter.