Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Strictly's Giovanni Pernice gushes over 'wonderful human' as he shares affectionate co-star photo

The Strictly Come Dancing star was full of kind words for his leading lady'

Giovanni Pernice in brown suit
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
Share this:

Giovanni Pernice found himself at the enter of controversy during the most recent series of Strictly, as the dancer and his celebrity partner, actor Amanda Abbington, were rumoured to have feuded

He was all smiles at the weekend, however and full of compliments for one of his co-stars. Sharing a sweet photo of himself cuddled up with fellow pro dancer Lauren Oakley, who was partnered with Krishnan Guru-Murthy last year, Giovanni shared a gushing message of appreciation.

 It read: "Appreciate you! Shout out this wonderful human, you deal with me [on a daily basis] [heart emoji]. Not just the best dancer all around but an amazing person!! Thank Loz @laurenmayooakley." 

WATCH: Giovanni Pernice shares insight into relationship with Rose Ayling-Ellis

This isn't the first time that Giovanni has sung Lauren's praises, sharing his support for his "leading lady" when she first joined the BBC dance competition in 2022, when she didn't have a celebrity partner. 

Sharing his excitement, the former champion shared a sweet throwback picture of himself planting a kiss on Lauren's cheek on Instagram as he remarked: "Nobody deserves it more than you @laurenmayoakley [heart emoji]… go on super [star]." 

Giovanni Pernice and Lauren Oakley hugging and smiling© Instagram
Giovanni shared his affection for his friend

Moments later, the 31-year-old uploaded a backstage video of Lauren dressing up in his clothes. "My leading lady and now @bbcstrictly professional… THAT's @laurenmayoakley everyone." 

Birmingham-born Lauren started dancing at just two years old and went on to win the Juvenile Champion across both Ballroom and Latin. She went on to become Under 21 British National Champion before going on tour. 

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice© BBC
Amanda and Giovanni reportedly didn't get along

Giovanni's kindness to Lauren is typical of his personality, according to Strictly's head judge, Shirley Ballas, who came to his defence amid the disagreement rumours in an appearance on Lorraine

Shirley was asked about these recent revelations during her interview on the show and was full of praise for the dance pro. "I've known Giovanni for many years and he is an absolutely splendid teacher," she told her host. My only ever experience with him is he is an absolute gentlemen. 

Giovanni Pernice standing with Rose Ayling-Ellis© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
The star won Strictly in 2021 with Rose Ayling-Ellis

"He gives 100%. Strictly and shows like that, they are tough shows so you know when you sign up for that kind of thing. It's quite difficult to do the show. Shirley isn't the only person to publicly defend Giovanni. 

Another former dance partner, Debbie McGee, shared a photo of the pair and wrote: "Happy memories. Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly." Amanda abruptly quit Strictly after a few weeks, citing "personal reasons" that left her "unable to continue". 

Giovanni Pernice looking expressionless on This Morning© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
The dancer is a viewer favourite

She has since opened up about her time on the show and revealed she had been diagnosed with PTSD after her exit. It has also been reported that the Sherlock actress has requested video recordings of her training sessions with Giovanni as part of her allegedly seeking legal advice.

 While he hasn't directly addressed the furore, the Italian thanked fans for their support as he promoted his popular live show Let Me Entertain You. He wrote: "I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has sent messages of support over the last week – I really truly appreciate it – thank you thank you thank you."

More Celebrity News

See more