Giovanni Pernice makes first statement after Strictly Come Dancing exit

Giovanni Pernice has made his first statement following the news that he will not return for this autumn’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Pernice joined the hit BBC entertainment programme as a professional dancer in 2015 and quickly became a favourite among fans.

However, his name was not included in this week’s announcement of the forthcoming series’ judge and professional lineup, confirming his exit after months of speculation about his conduct and methods with celebrity partners.

The 33-year-old Italian dancer broke his silence on his exit from the show with a statement directed to his “fans and followers”, shared early on Sunday (16 June).

“Every week, there are totally untrue stories about me in the media,” his statement begins.

“As you know, I have always rejected any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour. The latest accusations are simply false.

“I am cooperating 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.”

Giovanni Pernice (Getty Images)
Giovanni Pernice (Getty Images)

Pernice’s message then notes that he is “happy to be back on tour” before thanking those who have supported him.

“Your messages and love mean so very much to me,” he writes. “I will hopefully see many of you very soon and I look forward to clearing my name.”

In the comments section of the post, several fans have shared condolences and messages of encouragement.

Singer and actor Duncan James wrote: “Stay strong my friend. The truth always comes out in the end. Sending u love my bro,” while TV personality Gillian McKeith added: “Stay strong. Your dedication and incredible talent will always shine brighter.”

Rumours about Pernice’s behaviour with his dance partners began to brew after his most recent Strictly partner, actor Amanda Abbington, left the show less than a month into the series and did not thank him in her goodbye message.

Abbington also requested rehearsal footage from their time together.

While Pernice has denied any claims of wrongdoing, it was alleged earlier this year that the Italian dancer had caused difficulties with two other former celebrity partners during their time on the show: former Love Island host Laura Whitmore and TV presenter Ranvir Singh.

During a recent appearance on This Morning, former Strictly professionals James and Ola Jordan commented on Pernice’s exit, with James stating it is “very sad” that the situation reached this conclusion.