Strictly's Giovanni Pernice confirms he is dancing in new series and may already know who with

The Italian professional dancer reassured fans his ankle is better as he teased he may already know his celebrity partner.

Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice. (BBC/Guy Levy)
Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice has confirmed he is well enough to take part in the latest series. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Giovanni Pernice has confirmed he will be taking part in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing in spite of injuring his ankle over the summer.

The Italian professional dancer — who won the BBC dance series in 2021 with EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis — reassured fans he has recovered and is ready to hit the dancefloor.

Pernice took park in a fan Q&A session on his Instagram stories and was asked: "Are you doing Strictly again this year? Heard someone say you are injured."

The dancer replied: "I was yes… But I'm back and fully recovered… Can't wait!!"

Asked if he was excited for the new series he said: "Very much so!!! Is [sic] going to be a good one."

And to an enquiry about his ankle he said: "Lost of this.. is [sic] better .. thank you for asking."

Pernice - who celebrates his 33rd birthday on 5 September - then shared a video clip of himself walking along a street with the question, "Do you know your partner yet?"

Strictly Come Dancing's Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice thanked viewers in BSL. (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice was paired with Richie Anderson in 2022. (BBC)

Hinting he may already know which celebrity he is to be paired with he gritted his teeth and shook his fist in frustration before covering his mouth and smiling.

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The dance partnerships are announced during a special pre-recorded launch show due to be filmed at Elstree Studios in North London on Wednesday 6 September, 2023.

Professional dancers taking part in the show are not all guaranteed a celebrity partner.

In the last series Pernice was paired with The One Show presenter Richie Anderson and they were the second couple to be eliminated.

PRose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice in the Stritcly Come Dancing 2021 final.
Giovanni Pernice won Strictly 2021 with actor Rose Ayling-Ellis. (BBC)

Since 2020 the show - hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman - has included same-sex pairings and so any of the celebrity contestants could potentially be paired with Pernice. Although height is one of the factors taken into account when coupling up the dancers.

The celebrity contestants this year include former gameshow host Les Dennis, Sherlock star Amanda Abbington, veteran newsreader Angela Rippon - who famously danced with comedians Morecambe and Wise on their Christmas Show in 1976 - and Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

Other celeb signings, soap star Adam Thomas and TV presenter Angela Scanlon have been hit by claims they are already trained dancers.

Les Dennis is one of the celebrity contestants in Strictly Come Dancing 2023. (BBC)
Les Dennis is one of the celebrity contestants in Strictly Come Dancing 2023. (BBC)

The hit celebrity dance show will return for its 21st series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in September, the live shows beginning on Saturday 23 September.

This year will see the return of judges Craig Revel Horwood, former Strictly pro Anton Du Beke, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas.

Watch: Former tennis champ Annabel Croft excited to compete in Strictly