Strictly Come Dancing makes big change after Giovanni Pernice’s exit

Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni Pernice. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

The BBC is stepping up its game with a new “duty of care package” in response to the recent exit of Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice.

After a series of crisis meetings, the broadcaster is rolling out new safeguards for both celebrities and dancers on the show.

Measures include on-call counsellors, cameras to film training sessions, post-show therapy offers, and chaperones if requested.

Psychological testing will also be part of the package to ensure stars are “robust” enough to handle the constant media and online scrutiny.

The Sun reports that earlier this year, the BBC appointed a Duty of Care Executive.

Throughout the year, training, masterclasses, and webinars will be held for all non-scripted shows.

Kate Phillips, Director of Unscripted, said in a press release: “The BBC takes its duty of care responsibilities incredibly seriously and we are always looking at ways to further strengthen our commitment to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of contributors.”

A source added: “The BBC is under enormous pressure to ensure this series goes without a hitch. Cameras will be installed pretty much everywhere and a counsellor will be on call 24/7.”

It was confirmed this month that pro dancer Giovanni had left the show following complaints about his training methods.

In a previous statement posted to social media after the tabloid headlines, Giovanni said: “I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name.”