Laura Whitmore says Strictly Come Dancing bosses made her spend 12 hours a day with partner Giovanni Pernice

Whitmore was the sixth celebrity to be eliminated from the 2016 series

Thursday 16 April 2020 08:06 BST
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse crowned Strictly winners

Laura Whitmore has criticised Strictly Come Dancing bosses for forcing her to spend 12 hours a day with professional partner Giovanni Pernice when she “just wanted to dance".

The Love Island host appeared on the BBC competition series back in 2016, when she was partnered with Italian pro Pernice.

Speaking to Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle on their Private Parts podcast, the Irish presenter admitted to struggling with being forced to spend so much time with her partner away from rehearsals.

“What I didn’t like was being removed from everybody and having to spend 12 hours a day with this one person,” she said.

“It did not become about the dancing. I just wanted to dance. I did not want to play the game of doing red carpets with your dance partner and stuff like that, which a lot of people thought you should be doing. I did not want to do that.”

In 2018, Whitmore spoke out for the first time about her struggles on the dance show, detailing how the press painted her to be in the middle of the split between Pernice and his former partner, her friend Georgia May Foote, overshadowing the presenter’s Strictly experience.

“I’m still not ready to talk in depth about my experience on the show,” she said.

“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.

“To the outside world I tried to suck it up and smile, and I did that to the best of my ability, but it affected me deeply. My friends and family knew that I was struggling. And they were there for me. The media, however, saw me as blonde bait in a sequinned dress.”

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