Giovanni Pernice Breaks Silence Amid Strictly Come Dancing Investigation Reports

Giovanni Pernice at the Strictly launch in 2019
Giovanni Pernice at the Strictly launch in 2019 Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Giovanni Pernice has spoken out for the first time amid widespread speculation about his future on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Italian dancer has been at the forefront of press reports for a number of months now, with The Sun claiming last week he’d made the decision to quit the show ahead of this year’s series.

On Friday evening, the tabloid claimed that Giovanni was facing an internal BBC investigation after three of his former celebrity partners made legal complaints.

“There have been numerous serious complaints made to the BBC who are now in the process of evidence gathering,” a rep for the legal firm Carter Ruck told the newspaper.

“As it is still an ongoing matter no further comment can be made at this stage”.

In a message addressed to his “dear fans” posted on Instagram over the weekend, Giovanni said: “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.”

He added: “Thank you all once again for your continued love and support!”

HuffPost UK has also contacted representatives for Strictly Come Dancing for comment.

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.

Last year, he was paired with Sherlock actor Amanda Abbington, who left the series early, and later diagnosed that she had been diagnosed with PTSD.