BBC Addresses Fresh Claims That Giovanni Pernice Won't Return To Strictly Come Dancing

Reports in the tabloid press have claimed that Giovanni has left the show after 10 series following a recent wave of "scrutiny".
Giovanni Pernice in 2018
Giovanni Pernice in 2018
Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images

The BBC has responded to reports in the press suggesting long-serving Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni Pernice will not be returning to the show this year.

Speculation about Giovanni’s future with Strictly has been rife for a number of months now, after The Sun claimed that four of his former celebrity partners had raised concerns about his conduct.

The tabloid’s unnamed “source” noted that no formal complaints about the Italian dancer had been made, and the BBC were said to be “backing him” to return.

However, on Thursday night, a fresh report in The Sun claimed that Giovanni had made the decision to step down from Strictly after 10 series.

Citing another undisclosed “source”, the newspaper claimed the former winner had chosen to leave Strictly as the “scrutiny” he’d been placed under in recent history had become “too much”.

They also reported that an “internal memo of this year’s professional dancers” had been circulated, with Giovanni’s name noticeably absent from the list.

Giovanni pictured with Strictly pros past and present in 2019
Giovanni pictured with Strictly pros past and present in 2019
Mike Marsland via Getty Images

Responding to The Sun’s report, a BBC spokesperson said: “The professional dancers for Strictly Come Dancing 2024 will be announced in due course.”

HuffPost UK has contacted both Strictly Come Dancing and Giovanni Pernice’s team for comment.

Giovanni joined Strictly in 2015, during which he made it to the final with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and Faye Tozer.

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

In 2023, he was partnered with actor Amanda Abbington, who left the series early, and was later diagnosed with PTSD.


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