Strictly star shows support for Giovanni Pernice as Amanda Abbington brands pro dancer 'nasty'

Giovanni Pernice
-Credit: (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

One Strictly Come Dancing professional has broken ranks to publicly show their support for Giovanni Pernice amidst a current BBC investigation into his conduct with past celebrity partners on the show. The investigation began after Amanda Abbington, who was paired with Giovanni in 2023, shared that she had developed PTSD from his training.

Despite the ongoing investigation, one former Strictly star has taken to social media to display admiration for Giovanni, in possible contradictions to the suspected instruction from BBC for professionals not to comment on the issue.

Lauren Oakley, who has worked with Giovanni on the BBC show and on his UK dance tour, has now shared a video the pair of them, alongside Strictly judge Anton Du Beke. She paired the video with Sia's Unstoppable.

Lauren Oakley and Giovanni Pernice
Lauren has repeatedly shown support for Giovanni over recent weeks -Credit:Instagram/Lauren Oakley

This isn't the first time Lauren has shown support for Giovanni. Just a few weeks ago she shared some photos of their recent dance tour, which she captioned: "One more [black heart emoji] Always a pleasure @giovannipernice."

Lauren has appeared on the show since 2022, and although she was not paired with a celebrity for her first series, he second series saw her paired with Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. It's unclear if she will be returning to the Strictly ballroom in 2024.

Her video, appeared to show support for Giovanni, came just days after Amanda branded him "nasty and awful." Speaking Mail+ the Sherlock actress said: "I asked for them [rehearsals] to be recorded, it was me. Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us, a group of us."

She also expressed how the dispute has severely affected her life, as she continued: "You don't understand how awful this all is. Giovanni's fans have started trolling me now. I have had to come off social media and I'm getting death threats."

Amanda Abbington attends the press night after party for The Son
Amanda has labelled Giovanni "nasty" and "awful" -Credit:Dave Benett/Getty Images

Following the accusations of bullying and the investigation into his conduct, Giovanni reportedly employed lawyers to help clear his name. The dancing pro has also released a statement denying the claims about his behaviour.

The statement, which he shared on Instagram, read: "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.

"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. Thank you all once again for your continued love and support!"