Strictly bullying probe widens as investigation ‘now looking at more people than just Giovanni Pernice’

10 July 2024, 22:52 | Updated: 11 July 2024, 00:31

The probe into apparent bullying on the show has now reportedly widened
The probe into apparent bullying on the show has now reportedly widened. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Flaminia Luck

An investigation into bullying within Strictly Come Dancing is reportedly "now looking at more people than just Giovanni Pernice".

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It comes after the former pro was accused of adopting "militant" training methods for his celeb partners.

He allegedly clashed with his partner, Amanda Abbington, during last year's show.

She withdrew from the competition early, citing “personal reasons”.

Three of his former partners on the show - Laura Whitmore, Michelle Visage and Abbington - have allegedly all contacted a legal firm with complaints about him.

The much-loved dancing show was plunged into crisis as further complaints are now allegedly being investigated in a probe into behaviour.

Sources told the Mail Online that accusations have prompted bosses to extend the inquiry to look at others involved with the show as they gear up for the 20th anniversary.

Giovanni Pernice started on the show back in 2015
Giovanni Pernice started on the show back in 2015. Picture: Alamy

It was previously claimed that Pernice's team requested their sessions be recorded due to him being concerned about Abbington's behaviour.

But the actress hit back at those cliams saying she had been the one to ask for them to be recorded.

“You’re wrong! I asked for them to be recorded – it was me," she told MailOnline.

"Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us – a group of us."

Read more: Amanda Abbington forced to call police after being bombarded with death threats from troll fans of Giovanni Pernice

Read more: Giovanni Pernice is not returning to Strictly Come Dancing amid Amanda Abbington complaint row

Pernice said he is "confident" a bullying probe over his time on the show will be "resolved soon".

The professional dancer said he believed TV bosses would drop their investigation into him after training footage was reviewed.

The 33-year-old has been on the show since 2015 when he reached the final with Georgia May Foote.

In a statement shared to Instagram, Mr Pernice also 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."

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington heading to training in London
Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington heading to training in London. Picture: Getty

A BBC spokesperson said in a previous statement: “It is a longstanding position that the BBC does not comment on specific matters related to individuals.

"Nor ordinarily, would we comment on whether we are reviewing any individual complaints."Recently, we have seen a number of media reports about a high profile show.

"We would urge people not to indulge in speculation. "Anyone involved in a complaint has a right to confidentiality and fair process."

They went on: "If a complaint is made to the BBC, we assess and take any necessary steps to establish the facts, whether there is a case to answer, and, if appropriate, what action should be taken.

"This is all within the context of the BBC having duties of care to everyone linked to a complaint - that applies to those that have raised the complaint and to those that have been complained about.

"Whilst we know our shows have been positive experiences for many of those who have taken part, we will always look at any issues raised with care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned."

The spokesperson added: "We will not be commenting further."

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice. Picture: Alamy

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