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Shirley Ballas defends 'gentleman' Giovanni Pernice amid Amanda Abbington Strictly 'feud'

Shirley Ballas (right) has spoken out in support of Giovanni Pernice (left) as his feud with Amanda Abbington rumbles on (Getty)
Shirley Ballas (right) has spoken out in support of Giovanni Pernice (left) as his feud with Amanda Abbington rumbles on (Getty)

Shirley Ballas has spoken out in support of Giovanni Pernice following reports of a "feud" between him and Amanda Abbington, who he was paired with last year on Strictly Come Dancing.

Ballas, 62, who is the head judge on Strictly, described professional dancer Pernice as a "gentleman" and a "splendid teacher" while discussing the fallout during an appear on ITV's Lorraine on Monday.

Last year, Abbington dropped out of Strictly half-way through the series citing "personal issues".

At the time, there had been reports that there was no love lost between her and Pernice, which she rubbished.

Shirley Ballas appeared on ITV's Lorraine on January 15 (ITV)
Shirley Ballas appeared on ITV's Lorraine on January 15 (ITV)

Now, she claims that Pernice's "full-on methods" left her suffering with PTSD and has requested footage from their rehearsals.Probed on what her take on it all was, Ballas responded: "I have known Giovanni for many, many years and he is an absolutely splendid teacher.

"My only ever experience with him is that of an absolute gentleman. He serves the show well and gives 100 percent, but you know..."

Host Lorraine then added: "Sometimes partnerships just don't work, we see that everywhere, on TV, everywhere".

Ballas continued: "But you know all these shows, Strictly, they're tough shows. So when you sign up for a show like that you kinda know what you are getting into, it's been on the screen for 20 odd years, it's quite difficult to do the show."

Amanda Abbington pictured with Giovanni Pernice (BBC)
Amanda Abbington pictured with Giovanni Pernice (BBC)

Elsewhere in the show, Ballas also discussed her appearance on The Masked Singer.

Ballas, who is known as the "Queen of Latin", was sent home from the ITV1 celebrity competition show on the third episode on Saturday night after being unmasked as costumed character Rat.