Giovanni Pernice publicly supported by 'heartbroken' former BBC Strictly partner after exit from show

Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni Pernice: The dancer won't be returning to Strictly

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 12/06/2024

- 10:00

The Italian dancer hasn't been included in the list of pros taking part this year

Giovanni Pernice has been publicly backed by former Strictly partner Debbie McGee after his exit from the BBC show was confirmed.

The BBC confirmed Pernice wouldn't be part of the new line-up of professional dancers earlier this week following a series of "bullying" and "misconduct" allegations.

His 2023 partner Amanda Abbington has been vocal in her claims against the Italian dancer, branding him "nasty" and claiming to have been diagnosed with PTSD following her time on the show.

Abbington and three other complainants are believed to have issued complaints against Pernice and the BBC has since stated it will treat them with "care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned".

Pernice has vowed to "clear his name" amid the allegations, rejecting "any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour".

Now that his future on the show has been confirmed, McGee has decided to issue a statement supporting the former Strictly winner amid the saga.

Giovanni Pernice and Debbie McGee

Giovanni Pernice and Debbie McGee competed together on Strictly in 2017


Sharing a snap of herself with Pernice during a performance in the 2017 series, McGee penned on Instagram: "I am heartbroken for @giovannipernice.

"My experience on Strictly will always be happy and life changing. Gio nurtured me through my grief and gave me confidence I could do things I thought was beyond me."

It's not the first time McGee has thrown her backing behind Pernice since the allegations hit headlines.

Back in January, McGee shared another snap with the dancer and penned: "Happy memories. Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly."

Pernice responded at the time, thanking McGee for her kind words as the claims emerged.

The dancer hasn't publicly spoke about his departure from the show but former fellow professional James Jordan pulled no punches with his verdict on the decision.

After hearing Pernice won't be involved in this year's show, Jordan told ITV's This Morning: "For him to have four people come forward, there’s clearly something there…

"It's a shame it has come to this. The only thing I will say is there is no smoke without fire and I have always protected the professional dancers and we don't know the ins and outs of it."

While Pernice's exit has dominated headlines since Strictly unveiled the line-up of this year's pros, there was cause for celebration for Amy Dowden fans.

The Welsh dancer was forced to miss out on last year's show as she battled stage 3 breast cancer.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington

Amanda Abbington has lodged complaints against Giovanni Pernice


However, Dowden has since been given the green light to participate in the 2024 series after discovering "no evidence of disease" back in February.

Describing her joy at rejoining the cast, Dowden penned on Instagram: "I’m so happy and grateful to be back on @bbcstrictly. MY HEART IS SO HAPPY.

"The best team on and off the dance floor. I can’t wait to be back doing what I love most in the world, dancing! Feel blessed and more excited than EVER.

"Bring it on! Thank you @bbcstrictly for your support always. Eeeeeekkk #amysback #strictlycomedancing #letsdothis #excited #cantwait #myheartissohappy," she signed off. (sic)

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