Giovanni Pernice dismisses Strictly Come Dancing allegations as 'simply false'

Giovanni Pernice has dismissed allegations about his behaviour while working on Strictly Come Dancing as “simply false”.

The Italian dancer, 33, said he is "co-operating fully" with an ongoing BBC investigation and is looking forward to "clearing my name".

The broadcaster last week confirmed he will not return for the new series, on which he has performed for nine years.

Pernice has previously rejected allegations he displayed "abusive or threatening behaviour" while working as a professional dancer on the BBC One primetime show, following complaints about his conduct.

In a post on Instagram on Sunday morning, he wrote: "To my fans and followers,

"Every week, there are totally untrue stories about me in the media.

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

"I am co-operating 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.

"I am so happy to be back on tour. Thank you all for your continued support - your messages and love mean so very much to me. I will hopefully see many of you very soon and I look forward to clearing my name.

"With love, Giovanni."

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Despite the controversy, Pernice, who has been part of Strictly since 2015 when he reached the grand final with Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote, made a return to the stage on Saturday night.

He was joined by Strictly judge Anton Du Beke, with whom he is currently on tour and has also hosted a travel show.

Wearing matching half black and half white suits, Pernice told the audience at the Beck theatre in Hayes: "It's nice to be back."

In 2021, Pernice lifted the Strictly glitterball trophy alongside EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who was the first deaf contestant.

A legal firm acting on behalf of the complainants said the broadcaster is "evidence-gathering", but the BBC has not confirmed whether any probe has begun.