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Giovanni Pernice's secret Strictly flatmate revealed amid suspected show fall out

Strictly Come Dancing pro Giovanni Pernice used to call his fellow star his housemate

Giovanni Pernice looking expressionless on This Morning
Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
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Giovanni Pernice, 33, has sadly bowed out of Strictly Come Dancing amid mounting curiosity about his dance partner manda Abbington's decision to leave the show.

Now he's no longer in the running for the 2023 glitter ball trophy, the star will be spending more time at home relaxing. But did you know Giovanni used to flatshare with a fellow co-star?

WATCH: Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington open up about their relationship on the show

The pro dancer used to reside with Southampton-born choreographer and dancer Kai Widdrington in London, and the pair are still super-close friends today.

When Kai first joined the BBC show in 2021, he spoke to BBC Breakfast about the healthy competition between him and his then-flatmate Giovanni.

Lauren Oakley & Kai Widdrington dancing to Bastille on Strictly Come Dancing© Guy Levy
Giovanni used to live with Kai Widdrington

 "I get to dance alongside my flatmate, what more could you want? But he’s delighted, he was wishing me well," he said.

He continued: "It should be fun sharing a stage with you with one of your best mates. So that’s an added bonus definitely. We are really naturally quite competitive anyway, and he’s quite competitive in general but we just mess around. When it comes down to it, it’ll be a little bit competitive. But at the end of the day, it will be just be fun to share the stage."

Kai Widdrington and Giovanni Pernice dancing in the kitchen© Instagram
Kai Widdrington and Giovanni Pernice used to live together

A sneak peek inside of Giovanni's living quarters reveals that he has positioned his trophy alongside a heartfelt photo of his fellow winner, former dance partner, Rose Ayling-Ellis.

The framed picture that Giovanni has was taken during the now-iconic Couple's Choice dance to Symphony by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson. The image also features a sentence that reads: "One moment of silence can help a community feel heard. This is our BBC."

The special picture is positioned next to a love-shaped clock, his Glitterball trophy, a Queen book and several pictures of Freddie Mercury. A musical homage!

giovanni pernice home© Photo: Instagram
Giovanni has a photo of Rose in his home

What has Giovanni said since Amanda's departure from the show?

Following Strictly's official announcement that Amanda had left the show, Giovanni took to Instagram to express his sadness over her departure. "Amanda .. I am so sad we can't continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love," he penned.

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

What has Amanda said about Giovanni since her departure from the show?

Amanda shared a photo of a pair of dancing shoes, explaining to her fans that she had pulled out due to personal reasons, but there was no name check for Giovanni. 

"It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly," she penned. "I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue. It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.

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)

"I want to thank the incredible Production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring. It's a wonderful bunch of people and I'll miss all of them.

"I'm so sad that I am unable to go any further. Thank you to everyone who voted and who sent wonderful messages and inspiring support. You are all amazing. Truly. Thank you."

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