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Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice quizzed over Amanda Abbington drama – as three of his ex&dance partners meet up

STRICTLY star Giovanni Pernice shared his regret over his frosty relationship with Amanda Abbington on today’s Lorraine – insisting they could have gone all the way.

The Italian dancer appeared on the show with co-star and good friend Anton du Beke to promote their new travel show Adventures In Spain.

ITVAnton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice appeared on today’s Lorraine[/caption]

PAGiovanni said Amanda Abbington could have won Strictly[/caption]

Inevitably attention turned to Giovanni’s on-going feud with celebrity dance partner Amanda Abbington, who quit the most recent series amid concerns over his training methods.

At the weekend we revealed how Amanda had held a teary meeting with two of Giovanni’s other ex dance partners, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore.

Giovanni said today: “Amanda could have gone all the way.
Again, you’re just there to [help them] be the best they can on Saturday night.

“Amanda was a great talent, great dancer, the judges appreciated what we did.”

Last night viewers watched as Giovanni and Anton arrived in Marbella and took a yacht ride, during which the pair had a heart-to-heart.

Opening up to Anton about why he works so hard, Giovanni said: “You know, I’m a workaholic as they say.

“Because obviously there is the fear that it is all going to finish someday, which is the truth.

“Obviously I support me, I support my family back in Sicily, financially, so obviously I have fear that if I stop, everybody else and estops because of me.”

The very frank revelation came amid the backdrop of his simmering Strictly row.

Amanda, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore could unite to take complaints over the pro dancer to the BBC after they held their “emotional” summit.

The celebrities — each paired with the Italian on the dance show — first made contact on social media before getting together in-person last week to “compare notes”.

Sources said “tears were shed” as they offered one another support over their experiences with the “intense perfectionist” Gio.

Sherlock star Amanda quit the show in October citing medical reasons and has since revealed that she has been diagnosed with mild post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, speaking on The Mirror’s Invite Only podcast, Giovanni called Amanda’s decision to quit “a shame”, adding: “Amanda could have gone all the way.”

Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir, 46, who was partnered with 33-year-old Giovanni in 2020, complained about him to producers during her stint on the series.

Former Love Island presenter Laura, 38, meanwhile, said she “cried every day” and felt “uncomfortable” while training with him when they were paired up in 2016.

A source said: “All three had difficult experiences with Giovanni, who is well known to be intense during training. They met in person to share their experiences.

“Their meeting was emotional but heart-warming. They now know they are there to support each other after their tough times with Giovanni. Tears were shed.

“There is every possibility all three could take it further and formally complain to the BBC, but for now they’re comforting each other.”

The source added: “Only a handful of people will understand what it’s like to be trained by Giovanni and in the industry he is regarded as a ‘perfectionist’.

“He’s been known to row with many of his partners.”

Giovanni defended his actions, saying: “If you’re a professional dancer on one of these shows, you have to get the people looking the best they can on a Saturday night.

“If we have good scores at the end, I do look back and say, ‘I’ve done a great job’.”

Ranvir also flagged an issue during training with Giovanni, who has been on the show since 2015, and said that she was unhappy.

And telly host Laura wrote: “I’m still not ready to talk in-depth about my experience on the show. I was placed with a dance partner I was extremely uncomfortable with. I cried every day. And I really was broken, both mentally and physically, by the end.”

In another interview, she said: “What I didn’t like was being removed from everybody and having to spend 12 hours a day with this one person.

“It did not become about the dancing. I just wanted to dance. I did not want to play the game of doing red carpets with your dance partner and stuff like that.”

The BBC said in January it would not be conducting an investigation into Giovanni’s behaviour with Amanda.

A spokesman said: “There is a constant dialogue between the senior production team and contestants to ensure any concerns are addressed swiftly.”

The source told The Sun on Sunday: “There is some shock that the BBC appears to be doing nothing. Like Amanda, Ranvir also flagged an issue during training with Giovanni and said she was unhappy.

“While Laura has been vocal about how she found her time on the series distressing.

“Amanda is lining up a well-known lawyer to help her gain access to the rehearsal tapes of her and Giovanni with the aim of reviewing them.”

BBCLaura Whitmore said she ‘cried’ every day while training with Giovanni Pernice on Strictly[/caption]

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