Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Giovanni Pernice© James Green

Strictly stars who have spoken out amid Giovanni Pernice controversy

The Italian dancer is facing allegations about his behaviour

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 24, 2024
Share this:

Giovanni Pernice is facing allegations about his behaviour as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing. It comes after reports that the Italian star has quit the show.

Speculation about Giovanni's conduct began after actress Amanda Abbington unexpectedly pulled out of the competition in 2023 and reportedly requested footage from her training sessions with the pro dancer. 

As the controversy unfolds, here are all the Strictly stars who have spoken out.

WATCH: Giovanni and Amanda talk Strictly partnership


Debbie McGee with Giovanni Pernice© Dave J Hogan

Debbie McGee

Following reports that Amanda was seeking legal advice after bowing out of the show, Giovanni's former celebrity partner Debbie McGee showed her support for the Italian choreographer on social media. Posting a photo of the pair, the stage performer penned: "Happy memories. Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly."

Debbie also commented on Giovanni's recent Instagram post encouraging fans to vote for his BBC show with Anton Du Beke, Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain, to win at this year's National Television Awards. In the comments section, Debbie wrote: "On it," alongside a heart emoji.


Anton Du Beke posing in suit with Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice© Instagram

Anton Du Beke

While Anton Du Beke hasn't directly addressed the reports, he has shown his support for Giovanni by promoting their upcoming stage show, Anton & Giovanni - Together, which kicks off in June. 

Earlier in May, the Strictly judge reshared a post from the Strictly Theatre Co, encouraging fans to buy tickets. "Back TOGETHER TOUR… Coming very soon!!" the caption read. 


Stacey Dooley in a cream coat© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley, who was crowned Strictly champion in 2018, declined to address claims over Giovanni's behaviour during an appearance on BBC Breakfast earlier this week. 

"What I would say is I don't have a friendship with Giovanni," the broadcaster began. "I didn't even have a working relationship with Giovanni. And I haven't been involved with that show for years. So it would be probably irresponsible for me to comment on that.

She continued: "What I would say, more broadly, is I hope all of the women involved are ok.

"And I think, actually, it's separate from this but in my personal experience, I think it's a slippery slope not to believe women when they come forward and say certain things. But I just hope they're ok."


Brendan Cole© Chris Jackson

Brendan Cole

Back in September last year, Brendan Cole gave his take on Giovanni and Amanda's relationship following reports that the Sherlock star had threatened to quit. "Let's say Giovanni Pernice did a bit of choreography that she [Amanda Abbington] didn't like," said the former professional dancer," he told The Sun

He added: "If that is the case, that they are having a bit of a clash, and Giovanni is quite a full-on character, in terms of personalities within the show. I don't think it's wrong for me to say, he thinks a lot of himself, if I could be so bold."


Korina Travis© @korinachka/Instagram

Korina Travis

One of Giovanni's former dance partners Korina Travis spoke out about Giovanni's alleged behaviour on social media.

"I've known him for years as a fellow competitor and he has done horrendous things to me," said the dancer, who was reportedly considered for the Strictly pro line-up back in 2016. "I will not speak about my experiences with him but I'm glad the world is seeing him for who he truly is," she continued, adding: "I'll leave it at that."

Strictly Come Dating: couples who met on the dancefloor

As well as Gemma and Gorka, there are several other loved-up couples who met during their time on Strictly

  • Janette Manrara and Aljaz Škorjanec met on Strictly in 2010, before marrying in 2017 and welcoming a baby, Lyra, in 2023.
  • Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev met during the 2013 series. They married in 2019 and have two children together.
  • Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg fell in love while competing in 2018. They live together in Brighton.
  • Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton met in 2018 and welcomed a baby girl, Minnie, in 2023.
  • Max George and Maisie Smith shared their Strictly experience together in 2020, but didn't announce their relationship until 2022.
  • Tyler West and Molly Rainford starred in the 2022 series together and have been going strong ever since!
  • Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova are both professionals on the show, and began dating in 2022.
  • Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen were partnered together on the show in 2013, confirming their romance in 2014. They share a daughter together, Mila, who was born in 2018.

More TV and Film

See more