Strictly dancer Giovanni Pernice vows to clear name over celebrities’ criticism over his conduct

Giovanni Pernice with Laura Whitmore on Strictly in 2016
Giovanni Pernice with Laura Whitmore on Strictly in 2016 - Guy Levy/BBC

Giovanni Pernice has vowed to clear his name as the BBC investigates complaints made by his former Strictly Come Dancing partners about his behaviour.

A group of celebrities that took part in the dance competition have raised concerns over teaching methods and conduct of their one-time partner and professional instructor.

Pernice has branded the claims against him “false” and said that he will clear his name.

It comes after it emerged he will not be taking part in Strictly 2024.

The Italian dancer has been part of the BBC One show since 2015, when he reached the grand final with Georgia May Foote, the Coronation Street actress.

But the BBC did not announce the 33-year-old in its line-up of professional dancers for the forthcoming series following reports that he would not compete.

It has been reported that lawyers for the dancer, 33, and a group of his former partners have presented evidence to the BBC, which is looking into the claims against him.

Commenting on the controversy, Pernice took to social media, writing: “I have always rejected any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour. The latest accusations are simply false.

‘I am looking forward to establishing the truth’

“I am cooperating fully with the ongoing BBC investigation, which will determine the truth.

“As requested, I have stayed silent, but I am looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth.”

His denial comes after reports that his legal firm, Schillings, presented evidence in his defence to the BBC, following submission by Carter Ruck, a firm representing a group of his former dance partners.

Claims have been made about the nature of his training methods, and his behaviour towards his dance partners.

The dancer previously stated that he is a “perfectionist” who wanted to get his partners ready for Strictly’s Saturday night shows, while also “caring” for them.

He made these comments in early 2024 following a number of public statements of discontent from his former celebrity partners.

Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington left the 2023 series of Strictly for “medical reasons”, and subsequently claimed that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after taking part in the competition.

Laura Whitmore, Pernice’s partner for the 2016 series, also spoke of her time on Strictly, writing afterwards: “I was placed with a dance partner I was extremely uncomfortable with – and in the end I felt broken, I cried every day.”