BBC Strictly Come Dancing issues statement as Giovanni Pernice 'quits' after 9yrs of fame

Giovanni has reportedly quit Strictly
Giovanni has reportedly quit Strictly -Credit:BBC

Strictly Come Dancing fans were shocked when it was announced Giovanni Pernice had reportedly 'quit' the hit BBC show after nine years - and now BBC bosses have issued a statement.

In a statement to OK!, it insisted that viewers should stand by for official announcements on the cast. It said: "The professional dancers for 2024 will be announced in due course."

OK! has contacted Giovanni's reps for comment.

The official statement comes after claims that Giovanni told friends that he will not be returning for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. A source reportedly told The Sun: "Gio feels the scrutiny on him has become too much, and now is the time to make a fresh start.

BBC bosses have issued a statement following claims Giovanni has 'quit'
BBC bosses have issued a statement following claims Giovanni has 'quit' -Credit:PA

"He wants to focus on other TV projects, and feels he’s achieved all he can on Strictly, having won the trophy back in 2021 and reaching the final an unprecedented four times."

The source continued: "He remains adamant he’s done nothing wrong other than being a hard taskmaster, but knows his style of training isn’t to everyone’s liking — especially in this day and age. He has a lot of other exciting projects in the pipeline right now, and he’s just super-excited to get cracking on them. This, now, is his priority."

Giovanni Pernice joined Strictly in 2015
Giovanni Pernice joined Strictly in 2015 -Credit:BBC/Ray Burmiston

Last year, Giovanni's partner Amanda Abbington quit half way through the show, and later shared that she had been diagnosed with PTSD following her stint on the show. Since then, Giovanni, 33, has been at the centre of much speculation. Reports also surfaced that his former dance partners Amanda, Ranvir Singh, and Laura Whitmore reportedly met up to exchange notes about their experiences with him.

Ranvir, who took part in the competition in 2020, is alleged to have complained about Giovanni to producers during their time on the show about being unhappy. Meanwhile, Laura said she "cried every day" and felt "uncomfortable" while dancing with Giovanni in 2016.

The dancer faced claims about his training methods
The dancer faced claims about his training methods -Credit:BBC

Laura wrote about her Strictly appearance in 2018 and said: "I’m still not ready to talk in depth about my experience on the show. I was placed with a dance partner I was extremely uncomfortable with – and in the end I felt broken. I cried every day. And I really was broken, both mentally and physically, by the end."

During an appearance on The One Show, Giovanni defended the way in which he trains his celebrity partners. He said: "I'm definitely a perfectionist. Like everybody else, I like to win. But for me it's more about bringing the best out of partners, especially if I see that there is talent there. I want to do my job properly."

BBC bosses were said to be welcoming Giovanni back "with open arms", as there had been no official complaints lodged against the star. However, it now is reported that Giovanni has opted to walk away from the show.