Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice defends rehearsal style on One Show after Amanda Abbington speculation

‘I want to do my job properly,’ pro dancer said weeks after ‘Sherlock’ star requested ‘tense’ training footage

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 25 January 2024 09:11 GMT
Strictly's Giovanni Pernice breaks silence on Amanda Abbington feud

Strictly Come Dancing pro Giovanni Pernice has defended his training style following speculation about his off-screen behaviour.

Earlier this month, the spotlight was placed on Pernice’s training style after ex-Strictly contestant Amanda Abbington requested what has been described by a source as “tense” footage of her rehearsals with the dancer.

Pernice was partnered with the Sherlock actor on the latest series of the BBC competition until she unexpectedly quit the show mere weeks in due to “medical reasons”.

At the time, there was plenty of speculation surrounding her decision to leave the show, with many of the show’s fans highlighting the actor’s odd failure to thank Pernice in a message she shared summing up her experience.

Abbington recently revealed she “was diagnosed with mild PTSD after Strictly for several reasons”, telling The Sun on Sunday: “I told a few people about that, in the utmost confidence, among other things that were happening in my life at the time both professionally and personally,” she told the newspaper.

The actor’s actions have raised questions about Pernice’s training regime, which prompted previous contestants partnered with the pro, including Debbie McGee, to share messages of support – something he addressed in a statement posted on Instagram.

While the Italian pro did not namecheck Abbington during an appearance on The One Show on Wednesday (24 January), he did refer to his training style, telling host Alex Jones: “I’m definitely a perfectionist. Like every other competitor, I like to win.

“But for me, it’s all about getting the best out of my partner, especially if I see there is talent there. I want to do my job properly.”

He continued: “I think, like everyone, you train your life to be the best, and when you’re on Strictly, you’ve only got one week.”

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Jones, who competed on the ninth series of Strictly in 2011, joked: “You would have cried if you’d got me. You would have been like, ‘Well, what’s the point?”‘

Giovanni Pernice defended his ‘Strictly’ training style on ‘The One Show
Giovanni Pernice defended his ‘Strictly’ training style on ‘The One Show (BBC)

The TV host was paired with James Jordan, and finished in fifth place. McFly drummer Harry Jordan was that year’s winner, with the most recent Glitterball trophy going to former Coronation Street star Ellie Leach.

In response to Abbington’s data subject access request for video footage of her and Pernice’s rehearsals together, claiming “robust” duty of care protocols and “constant dialogue” between the show’s producers and its celebrity contestants.

A spokesperson for the corporation said: “The BBC offers a comprehensive range of support to all individuals taking part in our shows. Strictly Come Dancing has always taken duty of care incredibly seriously and there is a constant dialogue between senior members of the production team and the contestants to ensure any concerns are addressed swiftly.”

Pernice is currently promoting a new live show titled Let Me Entertain You.

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