Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice ‘sad’ after leaving ‘dream job’

Giovanni - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron
Giovanni - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

The BBC has confirmed Giovanni Pernice is leaving his role as a pro dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

This announcement comes after months of allegations from Giovanni’s past celebrity partners, casting a shadow over the beloved Italian dancer.

Giovanni has strongly denied the claims, saying in a post on social media: “I look forward to clearing my name.”

Friends close to Giovanni revealed that he is feeling “sad” and “hurt” over losing his “dream job.”

A source told the Mail: “This is the end of Gio and Strictly. It is a real shame, but there is no way back now – it’s over.

“He’s a tough guy, but all of this has really hurt him. Gio absolutely loved entertaining the show’s very loyal audience for many, many years but he also loves teaching his partners to dance.”

Giovanni, who joined Strictly ten years ago, quickly became a fan favourite. He reached the final three times and famously won the glitterball trophy with Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021.

The source added: “It was his dream job, watching their journey, seeing them improve. But even if this all goes away and the investigation finds in his favour, he just couldn’t go back next year.”

The tabloid report also claims that Giovanni has the backing of many who work on the show, saying they’re “gutted” he is leaving.

“Nobody wanted this. Gio is adored by the show’s viewers,” an unnamed employee is quoted by the newspaper.

READ MORE > Strictly Come Dancing makes big change after Giovanni Pernice's exit

The confirmed line up of pros on Strictly this year includes Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin and Gorka Marquez.

They’re joined by Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Vito Coppola.

The new series will air on BBC One this autumn.