pasha kovalev giovanni pernice

Giovanni Pernice wasn't surprised by Pasha Kovalev's Strictly departure - here's why

Pasha Kovalev confirmed his Strictly exit in February

Sharnaz Shahid

Giovanni Pernice has revealed he wasn't at all surprised when he heard the news of Pasha Kovalev's departure from Strictly Come Dancing. Speaking to HELLO!, the Strictly pro confessed that there comes a stage in a dancer's life where you know you're ready for a new challenge. "We didn't know beforehand," he explained. "He just said it to us when he told everyone. I think he was already ready for something different."

"Having been on the show for eight or nine years, I think he was at the stage where he was like, 'Ok I've loved it, it's been my life but I want to do something different,'" he added. "I think this is what happened to Pasha. I think this is what happened to Brendan [Cole] and all the other people that left the show." Expanding further, he continued: "I know it happens. It's a really nice job, an amazing job, but maybe at some point people say, 'Ok, I've had enough. I want to do something different.'"

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"I don't know if this is what happened with Pasha," he later added. "Of course, we will miss Pasha. He's a winner, he won with Caroline Flack and he was in the final last year with Ashley [Roberts]. He's a great dancer and an amazing choreographer - so we will miss him, but I am going to dance with him in a couple of weeks on the Strictly Come Dancing professionals' tour." Earlier this year, Pasha - who joined the show in 2011 - confirmed his departure from Strictly after eight years, leaving several of his fans devastated. "After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals lifting 1 glitter ball, it's time for me to find a new challenge and so I've decided to make last year - my final season on Strictly," he said at the time.

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Elsewhere, Giovanni touched upon his former dance partner Debbie McGee's recent cancer diagnosis, saying: "She came to watch my show on the West End last week and she is fine. She is now absolutely fine." He added: "I spoke to her and everything is under control. She goes to the doctor every single week. Everything is sorted and she is much better now." Despite the diagnosis, Debbie has been showing her support to Giovanni, who is currently on his Dance Is Life tour with fellow Strictly pros Luba Mushtuk and Trent Whiddon.

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The 28-year-old has a busy few months coming up as he continues his current tour before joining "best friends" Gorka Marquez and Aljaz Skorjanec for their Here Come The Boys tour and his return to Strictly later this year. He has also teamed up with Invisalign to get treatment on his teeth - something he wanted to "perfect". Opening up about the work he's getting done, he explained: "It's just because I didn't like my teeth before. Since I am Italian and I am a perfectionist, I just like everything to be perfect and now I've got my teeth perfect." He added: "In the meantime I think it is the best thing to wear because people can't really see, and it's really comfortable."

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