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Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice addresses Amanda Abbington training controversy for first time

Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice addresses Amanda Abbington training controversy for first time

Giovanni Pernice has addressed the Strictly scandal surrounding himself and Amanda Abbington for the first time.

The professional dancer was partnered with the Sherlock star on the latest series until Abbington unexpectedly quit the show mere weeks in due to “medical reasons”.

There was plenty of speculation surrounding her decision to leave the show, with many of the show’s fans highlighting the actor’s odd failure to thank Pernice in a message she shared summing up her experience.

Now, Abbington’s reasoning for quitting the show has been brought back into the limelight due to the actor’s request for what has been described by a source as “tense” footage of her rehearsals with Pernice for a supposed investigation.

The BBC addressed Abbington’s request for data subject access in a statement that said “robust” duty of care protocols and “constant dialogue” occurs between the show’s producers and its celebrity contestants.

Since the news, Pernice has been supported by his fans, and also Debbie McGee, one of his former celebrity Strictly partners. While the professional dancer thanked McGee for her words, he had failed to address the controversy directly – until now.

In an Instagram post promoting new live show Let Me Entertain You, which was shared on Thursday (11 January), Pernice wrote: “I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has sent messages of support over the last week – I really truly appreciate it – thank you thank you thank you.”

Giovanni Pernice thanks fans amid Amanda Abbington controversy (Instagram)
Giovanni Pernice thanks fans amid Amanda Abbington controversy (Instagram)

Pernice has been a part of Strictly since 2015, and won legions of fans due to his on-screen camaraderie with EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis. The pair won the show in 2021.

In the original report revealing Abington had requested her training footage, Pernice was described as a “perfectionist” who “can be incredibly full-on”.

A source said: “There is a feeling that the recordings will lift the lid on what really goes on behind the scenes on Strictly.”

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC)
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC)

A spokesperson for the BBC said the corporation “offers a comprehensive range of support to all individuals taking part in our shows”, adding: “Strictly Come Dancing has always taken duty of care incredibly seriously and there is a constant dialogue between senior members of the production team and the contestants to ensure any concerns are addressed swiftly.”

While Abbington refrained from thanking Pernice in her Strictly leaving message, the Italian dancer wrote: “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.”