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Strictly's Giovanni Pernice supported by fans as he pays sweetest tribute to Rose Ayling-Ellis

The Strictly Come Dancing star's video follows more insight into his 'tough' training approach…

Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis national Television Awards
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
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Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis are one of the most iconic pairings ever to grace the Strictly set, and viewers still remember them fondly.

Gio clearly has lovely memories of his time with the EastEnders actress, because as well as proudly sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of their reunions, on Sunday he showed how Rose still impacts his performances to this day, as you can see in the video below… 

WATCH: Giovanni Pernice's sweet tribute to former Strictly partner Rose Ayling-Ellis

Like many of the Strictly dancers, Giovanni now uses British Sign Language to signal "Thank you" to viewers following a performance, a tradition started by Rose during her time on the show in 2021, when she and the Italian danced to victory

Giovanni's career has gone from strength to strength ever since, with the release of his unisex fragrance Vita and his TV show with co-star and close friend Anton Du Beke, on which Rose made a delightful surprise appearance

Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis lift Strictly glitterball© BBC
Fans loved watching Rose and Giovanni

His series of solo shows have also been a sell-out success but mean that he didn't take part in this year's Strictly live tour. 

If he had done so, it would likely have been without a partner, after Amanda Abbington dropped out of the show citing "personal reasons," amid rumours that the couple did not get along due to Giovanni's strict approach to rehearsals. 

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice© BBC
Amanda dropped out of last year's series

Last week, another of his former partners, Michelle Visage, gave her opinion on the furore, confirming that she would describe the dancer's training regime as "tough". 

Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice cuddle up on the red carpet© Getty
Michelle Visage found Giovanni a 'tough' teacher

During a recent appearance on This Morning, she said: "I don't like gossip, so I'm not here to gossip, but what I can say from my experience was yes, he's tough. 

"He's probably the toughest pro there is. I wanted that. So it depends, some people can handle that, some people don't want to handle that. I wanted that." 

Giovanni Pernice in a green suit© Shutterstock
Giovanni joined the show in 2015

Debbie McGee – another former partner – has shared however that she and Giovanni "had the best of times on Strictly". 

Rose and the star always appeared to have a warm partnership, with the actress saying: "I started off finding dancing very confusing. It was a strange new skill. But Giovanni was so good. He listened and learnt a lot from me. We learnt very quickly that, if we were together, I could follow him." 

Giovanni Pernice standing with Rose Ayling-Ellis© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
The pair always worked well together

The show's head judge Shirley Ballas has also come to his defence, offering a public show of support while appearing on Lorraine. "I've known Giovanni for many years and he is an absolutely splendid teacher," she said during a January on-air interview. 

Every Strictly Come Dancing winner so far

Rose and Giovanni with the Glitterball in 2021
Rose and Giovanni lifted the Glitterball in 2021
  • 2004: Natisha Kaplinsky (partner Brendan Cole)
  • 2004: Jill Halfpenny (partner Darren Bennett) 
  • 2005: Darren Gough (partner Lilia Kopylova) 
  • 2006: Mark Ramprakash (partner Karen Hardy) 
  • 2007: Alesha Dixon (partner Matthew Cutler) 
  • 2008: Tom Chambers (partner Camilla Dallerup) 
  • 2009: Chris Hollins (partner Ola Jordan) 
  • 2010: Kara Tointon (partner Artem Chigvintsev) 
  • 2011: Harry Judd (partner Aliona Vilani)
  • 2012: Louis Smith (partner Flavia Cacace)
  • 2013: Abbey Clancy (partner Aljaž Škorjanec) 
  • 2014: Caroline Flack (partner Pasha Kovalev) 
  • 2015: Jay McGuiness (partner Aliona Vilani) 
  • 2016: Ore Oduba (partner Joanne Clifton) 
  • 2017: Joe McFadden (partner Katya Jones)
  • 2018: Stacey Dooley (partner Kevin Clifton)
  • 2019: Kelvin Fletcher (partner Oti Mabuse)
  • 2020: Bill Bailey (partner Oti Mabuse) 
  • 2021: Rose Ayling-Ellis (partner Giovanni Pernice) 
  • 2022: Hamza Yassin (partner Jowita Przystał)

"My only ever experience with him is he is an absolute gentleman. 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 Ballas in a white top on TV© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Head judge Shirley speaks highly of the dancer

The BBC has also released a statement, with a spokesperson stating: "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."

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