BBC Strictly fans fear female pro dancer could be axed for Giovanni Pernice backing amid 'bullying' saga

BBC Strictly fans fear female pro dancer could be axed for Giovanni Pernice backing amid 'bullying' saga

Giovanni and Amanda in their final It Takes Two appearance

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 23/05/2024

- 14:36

The Italian dancer has instructed a legal team to fight the allegations against him

Strictly Come Dancing fans fear professional dancer Lauren Oakley could face the chop due to her close friendship with Giovanni Pernice after she chose to miss the Strictly Live Tour to accompany him on his Let Me Entertain You tour.

The Italian dancer is being investigated by the BBC after Amanda Abbington claimed she suffered PTSD from her time with him, prompting three more previous partners of Pernice's to come forward.

The 33-year-old - who has been on the show since 2015 - has denied the claims and hired top lawyers in an attempt to clear his name after he vowed to not be "cancelled".

Pernice is reportedly said to have quit the BBC show - although neither himself nor the broadcaster confirmed the reports.

A source told The Sun: "Gio feels the scrutiny on him has become too much, and now is the time to make a fresh start. He wants to focus on other TV projects and feels he’s achieved all he can on Strictly, having won the trophy back in 2021 and reaching the final an unprecedented four times.

"He remains adamant he’s done nothing wrong other than being a hard taskmaster, but knows his style of training isn’t to everyone’s liking — especially in this day and age."

Lauren Oakley and Giovanni Pernice

Fans of Lauren have feared she won't be invited back after Giovanni support


Now, die-hard fans of the BBC dancing competition are worried that Oakley, 33, could be axed from the show after not cutting ties with Pernice publicly.

According to the Sun, Oakley had also planned to collaborate with Pernice and Anton du Beke on their BBC travel show - although it's since been reported the series has been shelved amid the saga.

Speaking about her future being at risk, one Reddit user said: "I really hope this doesn't negatively impact Lauren somehow - he's her boss on his tour, but she's so amazing. I'd hate if her Strictly career were to be cut short due to this."

Another echoed: "Yes, me too. She's already signed up to dance with him and Anton shortly on their tour, but presumably won't do his tour again."

Oakley has steered clear of the drama after taking herself away on holiday, recently posting on her Instagram account about leading a "simple life for a week".

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni is being investigated after Amanda claimed she had PTSD


She captioned the collage of photos: "Holiday love Pt.2. It’s been gorgeous living the simple life for a week.

"Just me & you, and a little bag. No make-up, no nails, no hairspray or fake tan… but the theatre calls! Back to work tomorrow. See you all soon." (sic)

Whilst Pernice has vehemently denied the claims of abuse, he has instructed Schillings solicitors to help, with a statement reading [via Daily Mail]: "Giovanni has instructed Schillings International LLP.

"Schillings is engaging with BBC studios to provide it with Giovanni's evidence to strongly rebut claims being made about him and confirm that Giovanni Is fully cooperating with that process.

"As with any reality TV show, when decisions are being made for entertainment reasons, the producers have a duty of care. Giovanni is fully committed to clearing his name and defending his rep against accusations against him."

The same publication also reports that a source close to Giovanni added: "Giovanni has instructed Schillings and is clear he will not be cancelled by spurious and unfounded allegations In the press. He has faith in the process and is fully participating, that is the right and proper forum for all the allegations to be made and reviewed.

Lauren Oakley and Giovanni Pernice

Strictly Come Dancing fans fear Lauren Oakley's bond with Giovanni could spell bad news for her spot in the competition


"He is confident he will clear his name, the only substantive allegation is that he stepped on someone else's toes - an occupational hazard dancing professionally or at a wedding.

"Giovanni has made no secret that he is a hard taskmaster, that's what is required on Strictly. But he has and will deny any allegations of threatening or abusive behaviour."

Oakley's risk of being dumped from the show comes after former Strictly stars Ellie Leach and Ellie Simmonds unfollowed the Italian Latin and Ballroom champion on Instagram.

Pernice's co-star Vito Coppola has also distanced himself from Pernice and unfollowed him, but it seems that despite the ongoing feud, Abbington and Pernice still have one another on their following list.

GB News has contacted the BBC for comment on fans' fears.

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