Amanda Abbington brands Giovanni Pernice “nasty” amid Strictly fallout

Amanda Abbington.
Amanda Abbington. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

Amanda Abbington has finally broken her silence on her bitter fallout with Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice, calling him “nasty.”

The actress suddenly left the competition last year after missing one of the live shows.

The BBC said in an official statement at the time: “Amanda Abington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition. The show wishes her all the best for the future.”

Amanda herself said she had left “for personal reasons”.

However the Sherlock star has since lodged a formal complaint against the Italian dancer and hired lawyers, prompting the BBC to launch an investigation into his conduct on the show.

Amanda Abbington & Giovanni Pernice
Amanda Abbington & Giovanni Pernice. Credit: BBC/Ray Burniston

In an interview with the Mail, Amanda clarified that it was her, not Giovanni, who wanted their practice sessions recorded.

“I asked for them to be recorded, it was me. Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us, a group of us,” she said.

The fallout has consumed Amanda’s life ever since, with new details emerging and contrasting claims from both parties at the centre of this dance war.

“You don’t understand how awful this all is,” Amanda said. She alleged: “Giovanni’s fans have started trolling me now. I have had to come off social media and I’m getting death threats.”

Amanda insisted she made producers aware of her issues with Giovanni early on, adding that the behind-the-scenes ordeal tainted what was meant to be an enjoyable experience.

In a previous statement posted to social media, Giovanni said: “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.

Amanda Abbington
Amanda Abbington. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

“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.”

The BBC has said: “It is a longstanding position that the BBC does not comment on specific matters related to individuals. Nor ordinarily, would we comment on whether we are reviewing any individual complaints.”

The statement continued: “Recently, we have seen a number of media reports about a high profile show. We would urge people not to indulge in speculation. Anyone involved in a complaint has a right to confidentiality and fair process.”

2022 saw Giovanni perform with Richie Anderson but the pair went out in only week three.

A year earlier, Giovanni won the series with Rose Ayling-Ellis. It was his first victory since joining the show in 2015.