Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice releases statement amid exit speculation

giovanni pernice from strictly come dancing
Strictly's Giovanni Pernice releases statementBBC

Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice has released a statement amid claims he’s leaving the BBC show.

It was reported by The Sun earlier this week that Giovanni's name didn't feature in an internal memo from Strictly listing this year's professional dancers. Responding to the claims, a BBC spokesperson told Digital Spy: "The Professional Dancers for Strictly Come Dancing 2024 will be announced in due course."

Shortly after, The Sun reported that the BBC has allegedly "launched an internal investigation into the professional dancer after three former contestants instructed lawyers". The BBC has not yet commented on these claims.

In a statement posted to Instagram, Giovanni has now responded to the allegations by saying he "reject[s] any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour," adding: "I look forward to clearing my name."

giovanni pernice from strictly come dancing

Related: Strictly's Giovanni Pernice calls new girlfriend "my beautiful" in tribute post

His full statement reads: "To my dear fans, you will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week.

"Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name."

He continued: "Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive.

"No one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me. I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be. This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win – for me and my dance partners.

"Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni."

amanda abbington, giovanni pernice, strictly come dancing 2023

Related: Kate Garraway says Giovanni Pernice will be "deeply missed" amid Strictly exit rumours

Giovanni most recently competed on Strictly with Sherlock star Amanda Abbington, who quit the show mid-season for "personal reasons".

While Amanda has since spoken about having difficulty on Strictly, Giovanni has declined to comment on their partnership other than with a statement released after Amanda quit.

"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 wrote on social media.

Strictly Come Dancing will return later this year on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Tickets for Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals live tour are available now.

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