Strictly faces boycott threat after Giovanni Pernice's exit

Giovanni Pernice has left Strictly Come Dancing after nine years. (BBC)
Giovanni Pernice has left Strictly Come Dancing after nine years. (BBC)

Some of Giovanni Pernice's fans have said they will boycott Strictly 2024 after the dancer left amid allegations he has a "militant" approach to training. Pernice has denied "any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour" following his feud with his 2023 partner Amanda Abbington who quit Strictly early.

This week the BBC finally confirmed Amy Dowden would be returning to Strictly as they announced the pro full line-up: Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Vito Coppola.

Sarah James, Executive Producer, has said: "This year Strictly marks two decades of entertaining the nation and we will be back with a bang in September as we celebrate in style with our incredible team both on and off screen."

However, some fans were so upset that Pernice would not be returning to the show that they would consider not watching this year. The dancer first burst onto our screens in 2015 and he has become popular with the fans during the nine years he was on the show.

Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington dancing on the 2023 series
Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington dancing on the 2023 series. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

Beneath the official BBC announcement on Instagram, some fans made their feelings known. Among the comments, one person wrote: "Sad Giovani won’t be on there this year."

Others wrote: "I’m so disappointed that the @bbcstrictly have turned their back on Gio after everything he bought to the show. For the first time in 20years I won’t be watching."

"So so so sad @giovannipernice won't there. Definitely less inclined to watch." Another complained: "Won't be watching this year."

"Really won't be the same without giovanni! All because he's a good teacher and wants the best out of his partner. People should know what they are in for when applying for the show. X."

Someone else wrote in the Instagram comments. "Thrilled to see Amy is back but gutted that Giovanni isn’t!"

Fans also took to social media media platform X to say it was "unlikely" they would be watching the show. Another person wrote: "So sad that the most amazing professional dancer @pernicegiovann1 will not be on #strictly anymore not sure it will be worth watching this year."

Someone else added: "No Giovanni on the show means I'm unlikely to really watch any more, the art he made was truly special and he was one of the strongest pros."

The BBC is not commenting on this.

Others however were excited by Dowden's return after she had to miss out on the 2023 series because of her battle with cancer. Among the comments, fans wrote: "So happy to see you back Amy."

Another added: "It will be absolutely fantastic to see you back on the dancefloor where you belong."

Strictly's Amanda Abbington left Strictly early after being partnered with Giovanni Pernice
Strictly's Amanda Abbington left Strictly early after being partnered with Giovanni Pernice. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

Pernice is at the centre of an internal BBC investigation into "serious workplace misconduct". The dancer strongly denies the claims. The news of his exit comes after a male celebrity was allegedly in touch with lawyers Carter Ruck to join the three women who are said to be complaining about the dancer, The Sun reported.

Pernice's spokesperson was quoted by the newspaper as saying: "Schillings is engaging with BBC Studios to provide it with Giovanni’s evidence to strongly rebut the claims being made about him and confirm Giovanni is fully cooperating. As with any reality TV show, when decisions are being made for entertainment reasons, the producers have a duty of care to all participants."

Previously, Pernice has spoken out on the allegations on Instagram to say that he was looking forward to "clearing my name". He wrote: "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."

On the other side, Abbington recently addressed the drama in an interview with the MailOnline and how she requested their training footage be recorded. She said: "I asked for them to be recorded – it was me. Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us – a group of us."

The actor explained she "went to producers early on and told them about Giovanni" and she said the trolling online — which has included death threats — had been "awful".

BBC has said it will handle any complaints about a "high-profile" show believed to be Strictly with "care, fairness and sensitivity".

This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at