Debbie McGee on GMB and Giovanni Pernice on Strictly in ED composite

Debbie McGee expresses ‘heartbreak’ for Giovanni Pernice amid Strictly exit

Debbie danced with Giovanni on the series in 2017

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Debbie McGee has spoken about the news Giovanni Pernice won’t be returning to Strictly this year.

On Monday, the BBC announced the 2024 Strictly pro dancer line-up. Following recent allegations about his training methods and behaviour towards his celeb partners, Giovanni wasn’t included in the line-up.

Many fans are gutted and have even threatened to boycott Strictly. Now, Giovanni’s 2017 celeb partner Debbie has expressed her ‘heartbreak’.

Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice smiling
Debbie has expressed her ‘heartbreak’ for Giovanni (Credit:

Giovanni Pernice and Debbie McGee

Taking to her X and Instagram accounts, Debbie said: “I’m heartbroken for ⁦@pernicegiovann1.

“My memories of Strictly will always be happy and life changing. He nurtured me through my grief and gave me the confidence that I could do things I thought were beyond me.”

Fans shared their thoughts in the comments. One person said: “So sad to see he isn’t on this year. He’s my favourite professional.”

Another wrote: “Nice to see someone adding some balance to what has been reported so far.”

Giovanni Pernice on Strictly
Giovanni has denied claims about his behaviour (Credit: BBC)

Someone else commented: “Lovely post Debbie. Thank you for always supporting Gio.”

Giovanni recently hit back at allegations about his behaviour on Strictly. It came after reports claimed that his 2023 dance partner Amanda Abbington developed PTSD due to her time on the show.

Meanwhile, some of his other partners also reportedly had issues with his training methods. The BBC has launched an investigation into the claims.

In a statement in May, the Italian dancer said: “You will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice on Strictly
Amanda reportedly developed PTSD following her time on Strictly (Credit: BBC)

Giovanni Pernice statement

“Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name.”

He added: “I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be. This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win – for me and my dance partners.”

Read more: BBC facing intense backlash over Giovanni Pernice’s Strictly exit: ‘Shame on you – huge mistake!’

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)