Amanda Abbington Speaks Out Amid BBC Investigation Into Strictly Come Dancing Pro Giovanni Pernice

The Sherlock star has branded her former Strictly pro "nasty".
Amanda Abbington pictured in January 2023
Amanda Abbington pictured in January 2023
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Amanda Abbington has spoken out for the first time since it was reported her former Strictly Come Dancing professional partner was being investigated about his behaviour on the show.

The Sherlock actor was paired up with Giovanni Pernice during last year’s series, but bowed out of the show midway through due to undisclosed medical reasons.

It later transpired that Amanda had been diagnosed with PTSD after her time on the show, with reports last month claiming that Giovanni was facing an internal investigation from the BBC after a number of his former partners made “serious complaints”.

Giovanni told fans at the time: “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.

“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.”

Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni Pernice
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Amanda has now shared her side of the story, branding Giovanni “nasty” and claiming he was “awful” to both herself and several other celebrities he danced with on the show.

“You don’t understand how awful this all is,” she insisted to the Daily Mail, claiming she’s “had to come off social media” as a result of “trolling” from Giovanni’s fans and “death threats”.

She added: “All of this because I didn’t enjoy a television programme. I didn’t enjoy it because of all of this.”

HuffPost UK has contacted Giovanni Pernice’s team for comment.

The BBC declined to comment, but the corporation did issue a rare statement alluding to the matter last week.

Giovanni and Amanda performing together during last year's series of Strictly
Giovanni and Amanda performing together during last year's series of Strictly
BBC/Guy Levy

“It is a longstanding position that the BBC does not comment on specific matters related to individuals,” a BBC representative said. “Nor ordinarily, would we comment on whether we are reviewing any individual complaints.

“Recently, we have seen a number of media reports about a high profile show. We would urge people not to indulge in speculation. Anyone involved in a complaint has a right to confidentiality and fair process.

“If a complaint is made to the BBC, we assess and take any necessary steps to establish the facts, whether there is a case to answer, and, if appropriate, what action should be taken.”

The statement – which did not mention Giovanni, Amanda or Strictly Come Dancing directly – continued: “This is all within the context of the BBC having duties of care to everyone linked to a complaint – that applies to those that have raised the complaint and to those that have been complained about.

“Whilst we know our shows have been positive experiences for many of those who have taken part, we will always look at any issues raised with care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned.”

Giovanni joined Strictly in 2015, making it to the final on four separate occasions, including with famous partners Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and Faye Tozer.

He later won the show alongside Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021, and performed in a same-sex partnership the following year with Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson.


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