Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse break ranks to back 'bullied' Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington in a promo photo for Strictly.
-Credit: (Image: Ray Burniston/BBC/PA Wire)


Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse have shown their support for Giovanni Pernice, who's been caught up in a bullying controversy. The pair are set to join his dance classes, following the lead of fellow judges Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke.

A source revealed: "Everyone is rallying around Giovanni and feel very strongly he has been hung out to dry somewhat."

Giovanni's dance account Ballando Dance announced: 'Well ... it wouldn't be fair to only have 2 of the judges would it. So excited to announce that none other than Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse will be joining us for an afternoon of dance fun on the 29th September... what dances do you think they'll be doing?'

Fans were thrilled with the news, with one commenting: "This is fabulous to see the other two judges supporting Gio." Another added: "Great to see the support."

Last month, The Mirror reported that Shirley was backing Giovanni, stating: "The truth will come out.", reports the Mirror. She insisted she had never witnessed any of the alleged bullying. Despite being a part of the show for nine years, the professional dancer wasn't brought back for this year's series, and BBC bosses are currently investigating the allegations against him.

Shirley, 63, defended Giovanni, saying: "He has always been to me, and I will make that clear, to me, a perfect gentleman. "My feeling for Giovanni is, let them do this investigation or whatever it is they are doing and the truth will come out. I have never ever, ever experienced any ill will or bad feeling or bad sportsmanship or rudeness from him.

"You know, I can only talk from my own perspective. I have known Giovanni for 10 years. I know he is a hard worker. He wants the people to do the very best that they can do."

"Obviously in my life I was bullied a lot. I don't condone bullying on any path but also I don't believe gossip because things get escalated and they are blown way out of all proportion and it can turn into a great big snowball. So we don't judge anybody until I know absolutely 100%. I won't pass on the gossip unless I know 100% it is true. He will be missed. "

Actress Amanda Abbington, who was partnered with Giovanni on the show last year, made claims about his behaviour. The 50 year old left the show in October.

Giovanni denies any allegations of bullying or abusive behaviour. He has labelled the claims about his behaviour as "simply false". He has also previously dismissed allegations of "abusive or threatening" behaviour following complaints about his conduct. The dancer stated: "I am co-operating fully with the ongoing BBC investigation, which will determine the truth.

""As requested, I have stayed silent, but I am looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth. I am so happy to be back on tour.

"Thank you all for your continued support. Your messages and love mean so very much to me. I will hopefully see many of you very, very soon and I look forward to clearing my name. ".