'Strictly' viewers love that Giovanni Pernice is still using British Sign Language in shows

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

Strictly Come Dancing viewers have praised Giovanni Pernice for continuing to use British Sign Language even though he is no longer partnering Rose Ayling-Ellis.

The pro dancer won Strictly last year with Ayling-Ellis, the show's first deaf contestant, and learned BSL to communicate with her which he also used to thank fans for their votes during shows.

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Ayling-Ellis used her platform in 2021 to raise awareness for the deaf community, performing a part of one dance in silence to show her experiences and asking for sign interpreters to be standard for TV programmes.

Pernice has clearly taken the message to heart, as even though he now has a new dance partner in Richie Anderson, he has continued to sign thank you to viewers and looks to have taught it to radio presenter Anderson, too.

Ayling-Ellis' legacy lives on in the ballroom, as some other couples were seen signing thank you, too, including Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez, and Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin.

It didn't go unnoticed, with viewers showing their appreciation for the gesture.

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One viewer tweeted: "It's so cute that Giovanni still does the BSL for 'thank you' when he goes through, I love that #Strictly"

Someone else wrote: "Giovanni still saying thank you in BSL got me all up in my emotions!"

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 21:00:01 on 18/12/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/12/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++DRESS RUN++
*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 21:00HRS, SATURDAY 18TH DECEMBER, 2021* Giovanni Pernice, Rose Ayling-Ellis - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis won Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (BBC)

Another person commented: "Love that some of the dancers are still signing when saying thank you after getting through. Rose’s impact."

Someone else tweeted: "Nikita, Ellie, Helen, Molly and of course Giovanni and Richie.. all signing thank you."

On Sunday night, the first couple of Strictly 2022 was sent home after the scores from the first two episodes and the public vote were combined to leave the bottom two couples in a dance off.

Real-life couple Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova were pitted against each other with their celebrity partners Kaye Adams and Matt Goss, but it was Adams and Widdrington who lost out in the judges' vote and were eliminated first.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Richie Anderson?