Giovanni Pernice smiling and inset dancing with Amanda Abbington

Strictly star Giovanni Pernice ‘handed new contract’ after ‘nasty witch hunt’ that almost ended his career

Welcomed back with 'open arms'

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Strictly Come Dancing favourite Giovanni Pernice will return to the BBC ballroom for the 2024 series of the show, it’s been reported.

After a “torrid” five months for Giovanni in the wake of the Amanda Abbington scandal, it’s understood that the dancer will be welcomed back to the series. It kicks off in September.

While the professionals joining the series are yet to be confirmed by the BBC, insiders suggest “it all looks to be happening” for Giovanni, after a “nasty witch hunt” which threatened to ruin his career.

Giovanni Pernice smiling in a suit
Giovanni Pernice will apparently be welcomed back to Strictly with open arms (Credit: Splash News)

Strictly to ‘welcome back Giovanni Pernice’

According to the Daily Mail, Giovanni has been assured by his bosses that he’s very much still part of the Strictly family.

It comes after the BBC showed its support for the pro with his most recent travel series with Anton Du Beke, Adventures in Spain.

According to an insider: “He is thrilled. While there are dots on i’s and crosses on t’s still to be written in, it all looks to be happening for him. As it’s the 20th anniversary, it’s a big year for the show. Everyone involved wants Giovanni to be part of it. It has been a really difficult few months for him. To have been hit with such claims – but not having anything he can respond to – has been really, really tough.”

The insider then added that the BBC is “backing him all the way”.

They also claimed that there have been “no complaints about Giovanni’s behaviour”. “Nobody has actually come forward and said: ‘He did this to me’ or ‘He did that to me’. Nothing has come to light from any of these people. It feels very unfair to judge someone and potentially dump someone from their job because of what is written in the red tops,” they then added.

Giovanni Pernice dancing with Amanda Abbington
Giovanni and Amanda reportedly clashed in the training room (Credit: BBC)

‘Regrets’ over Amanda pairing

However, it has been reported that bosses at the BBC do “regret” putting Giovanni and Amanda together.

As a result, it’s been claimed that perhaps the more determined Angela Scanlon would’ve been a better match for Giovanni.

Now everyone at Strictly is ready to welcome him back with open arms.

As a result of the controversy, it has recently been claimed that bosses are unsure over whether to give Giovanni a celebrity partner this year.

“The spotlight will be on them from day one, which is a lot to take as well as the pressure of the show. Unless they can find someone who specifically asks for him, it could be tricky,” a source claimed to The Sun.

Giovanni Pernice smiling with Anton Du Beke
Anton Du Beke is backing his pal and has been his ‘rock’ (Credit: BBC)

Support from Anton

Giovanni is said to have the full support of everyone at Strictly, including Anton Du Beke. He has been described as being a “rock” to Giovanni in recent months.

The insider then concluded: “Giovanni’s legacy lives on from what he did with Rose. He was solely responsible for winning a Bafta. The BBC will not forget that. He made such a positive impact with Rose and it is a terrible shame that unsubstantiated slurs threatened that. Now everyone at Strictly is ready to welcome him back with open arms.”

ED! has contacted the BBC and Giovanni’s reps for comment.

The BBC said: “The professional dancers for 2024 will be announced in due course.”

Read more: Amanda Abbington’s fiancé in hospital for major surgery

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor