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Giovanni Pernice talks 'pretending to like' Strictly castmates in unearthed comments

Giovanni Pernice previously made the comments during the 2020 show  

Giovanni Pernice in sheer shirt
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice has very sadly left the competition after his celebrity partner, Amanda Abbington, confirmed that she would be dropping out of the show.

Despite Giovanni sharing a sweet message paying tribute to Amanda, fans have speculated that the actress might have left the show after not getting along with her co-star. While it’s difficult to know exactly what happened behind the scenes, Giovanni has previously opened up about how he gets along with everyone on the show. See his comments here…

WATCH: Anton Du Beke discusses Amanda Abbington returning to Strictly

While discussing the 2020 series, in which the dancing pros quarantined together to be able to rehearse and film the professional dances, Giovanni told All Access Areas that you “pretend” to like your castmates due to the “environment” of the show.

He said: “If there’s somebody you don’t like, you pretend that you like them. It’s the environment, isn't it?" He added: "I know that there’s a chance that the pros could be quarantined all together for two weeks doing the group numbers.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice on It Takes Two © BBC
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice on It Takes Two

“Because obviously, we have to film all the group numbers. Usually, we do them live or we pre-record during the week, but this time I think we’re going to pre-record all of it, which is going to be like 14 group numbers. It makes sense for us to get all together and do it all at once."

Strictly stars and their children

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez sit on the sofa with the children
Gorka Marquez, Gemma Atkinson and their children
  • Strictly pro Gorka Marquez and former Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson share two children, Mia, four, and baby Thiago. 
  • Strictly: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara and her dancer husband Aljaz Skorjanec are parents to baby girl Lyra.
  • Strictly winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley welcomed baby Minnie in January 2023.
  • Former Strictly pros James and Ola Jordan share a daughter, three-year-old Ella.
  • Former pro Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley share two daughters, Maven, three, and Noa, one.
  • Strictly judge and ex-pro Anton du Beke and his wife Hannah share adorable six-year-old twins George and Henrietta.
  • Former Strictly star Artem Chigvintsev and Nikki Bella became parents to son Matteo in July 2000.
  • Professional dancer Natalie Lowe and her husband James Knibbs welcomed their son Jack in December 2020. 
  • Ben Cohen and former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff met in series 11 and now share a six-year-old daughter, Milena.
  • Ex-Strictly pro Brendan Cole and his wife Zoe Hobbs are parents to Aurelia, age 10, and Dante, five.

Giovanni has previously been partnered with Laura Whitmore, Faye Tozer, Michelle Visage, Ranvir Singh, Richie Anderson, and Rose Ayling-Ellis, who he won with in 2021. Rose was full of praise for Giovanni during her Strictly journey, telling The Guardian: "Giovanni has been incredible. He really supports every single step – and I mean every single step: even when I'm doing stuff on my own, he, off-camera, is giving me timing.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice dancing the Viennese Waltz© BBC
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice dancing the Viennese Waltz

"There are a lot of ups and downs and some dances are harder than others. But Giovanni is such a good teacher, and he's really adapted to the way I learn, rather than making me learn it in his way."

Despite rumours of a feud, Amanda has also previously praised Giovanni. During a visit to It Takes Two, she said: "I've got a good teacher. He's really disciplined, and he tells me like it is and I need that because I found out that I'm actually quite lazy. I have a good comfort zone. It's wonderful. We're having a great time.”

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice's dance for movie week© BBC
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice wowed with their routine for movie week

While chatting to Virgin Radio, Giovanni also admitted that he was strict when it comes to training, saying: “I'm very, very strict. The only reason why is because first, I know my partner's got massive potential, and obviously, I want her to look the best on a Saturday night. And second, because I believe in Amanda," he continued. "I know exactly how much she can bring on a Saturday night."

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