BBC Responds To Reports Of 'Crunch Talks' About Giovanni Pernice's Strictly Future

The Italian performer has been part of Strictly Come Dancing for almost a decade.
Giovanni Pernice at the TV Baftas in 2022
Giovanni Pernice at the TV Baftas in 2022
Samir Hussein via Getty Images

The BBC has responded to speculation about Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni Pernice’s future with the show.

Giovanni has been part of Strictly’s team of resident dancers since 2015, famously winning the show in 2020 alongside actor Rose Ayling-Ellis (with whom he later won a TV Bafta for one of their most memorable routines).

Over the weekend, The Sun published an article claiming that Strictly will hold “crunch talks” with Giovanni later this week about whether he’ll return to the ballroom in 2024, with the tabloid claiming four of his former celebrity partners have raised concerns about his concerns.

According to The Sun’s undisclosed “source” no formal complaints about Giovanni have been made, with the BBC said to be “backing him” to return.

Meanwhile, a BBC rep told the newspaper: “The pro dancers for 2024 will be announced in due course.”

When contacted about The Sun’s report by HuffPost UK, a BBC spokesperson had no further comment.

Giovanni with a host of the show's past and present professionals pictured in 2019
Giovanni with a host of the show's past and present professionals pictured in 2019
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Last year, Giovanni was partnered with actor Amanda Abbington on Strictly.

Although the two received consistently high scores from the judging panel, their time on the show came to an abrupt end halfway through the series, when it was announced that Amanda was “unable to continue” and had “decided to withdraw from the competition”.

Earlier this year, an unconfirmed article in The Sun alleged that the former Sherlock actor had “demanded footage of her rehearsals” with Giovanni, and was considering “legal advice” about her time on the show.

Amanda also confirmed she had been diagnosed with PTSD following her time on Strictly.

A BBC spokesperson previously said: “The BBC offers a comprehensive range of support to all individuals taking part in our shows.

“Strictly Come Dancing has always taken duty of care incredibly seriously and there is a constant dialogue between senior members of the production team and the contestants to ensure any concerns are addressed swiftly.

“Strictly has a proud track record as a joyful, positive experience where robust support and assistance is always made available at every stage of the production.”


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