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Aljaz Skorjanec returning to Strictly Come Dancing

Aljaz Skorjanec returns to Strictly following huge shake-up - here's why

The BBC One dance show is coming back with a bang this autumn!

Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
5 days ago
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Aljaz Skorjanec has delighted Strictly Come Dancing fans this week by announcing his return to the BBC One dance show, two years after leaving. 

The professional dancer will be joining the professional dancers this autumn for the 20th series of the long-running programme, and he couldn't be happier. 

The star will be making his return as a dad-of-one, following the arrival of his daughter Lyra in 2022, and he is hoping to make her proud! 

In a statement released on Monday, he said: "I could not be more ecstatic to be back with the Strictly family! 

"This year is such a special one for this legendary show, I can’t wait to be a part of it and make my return to the dancefloor. I had an absolute ball during my nine year stint on Strictly, during my time away I became a parent, which has been an exciting challenge in itself and now I’m ready to experience the Strictly magic again. 

Aljaz Skorjanec in a black outfit© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Aljaz Skorjanec is returning to Strictly Come Dancing for series 20

It feels so right to be coming back, I missed the fun, glitter and the judges of course and I hope to make my daughter Lyra proud!" 

Sarah James, Executive Producer of Strictly Come Dancing added of the news: "We are all so thrilled that Aljaž is back in the Strictly Ballroom, bringing his incredible choreography and passion for dance. 

Strictly's Aljaz Skorjanec with his baby girl hugging
Aljaz is wanting to make his daughter Lyra proud

"During his nine series he was a firm favourite with viewers across the country, I’m sure everyone is in for a treat as he joins us to entertain the nation for a very special 20th year of the show." 

The news of Aljaz's return follows shortly after it was announced that long-running pro Giovanni Pernice would not be returning to Strictly.

Janette Manrara in a denim dress and Aljaz Skorjanec in a bomber jacket© Dave Benett
Aljaz with wife Janette Manrara

The 33-year-old is currently at the centre of a BBC investigation after his former dance partner, Amanda Abbington, revealed that she had received a PTSD diagnosis from her time on the show. 

Following suggestions that Giovanni and Amanda had feuded behind the scenes, it was reported that Amanda had asked for the footage from their dance rehearsals after finding him "nasty" to work with. 

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, Maisie Smith and Kai Widdrington, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, Max George and Katya Jones, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, Nadiya Bychkova, Janette Manrara, Neil Jones'Strictly Come Dancing' Live Tour photocall© Shutterstock
Aljaz on Strictly back in 2022

In light of the investigation, Giovanni has since shared a post defending himself. On June 16, he wrote: "To my fans and followers. Every week, there are totally untrue stories about me in the media. 

"As you know, I have always rejected any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour. The latest accusations are simply false. I am cooperating fully with the ongoing BBC investigation, which will determine the truth. As requested, I have stayed silent, but I am looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth. 

Giovanni Pernice in a green suit© Shutterstock
Giovanni Pernice was dropped from Strictly following an ongoing investigation

"I am so happy to be back on tour. Thank you all for your continued support – you messages and love mean so very much to me. I will hopefully see many of you very soon and I look forward to clearing my name."

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