Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Giovanni Pernice is seen for the first time in Portugal since quitting Strictly after fleeing the country amid BBC probe into ‘serious workplace misconduct claims’

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Giovanni Pernice has been pictured for the first time since quitting Strictly Come Dancing as the BBC investigates ‘serious workplace misconduct claims’ by three of his celebrity partners. 

The professional dancer, 33, has fled the country with girlfriend Molly Brown, 25, after reports emerged he would not appear in 20th anniversary series later this year.

Amid the firestorm, Giovanni was seen shopping in Portugal with Molly before enjoying an alfresco drink with pals. 

Cutting a casual figure in a white T-shirt and dark shades, the TV star appeared relaxed and worlds away from his Strictly drama as he and his girlfriend enjoyed some cocktails in the sunshine.

A source told MailOnline: ‘Giovanni and his girlfriend were out and about shopping.

Giovanni Pernice has been pictured for the first time since quitting Strictly Come Dancing as the BBC investigates ‘serious workplace misconduct claims’ by three of his celebrity partners 

In the snaps, Giovanni was spotted shopping with his girlfriend as he cut a casual figure in a white T-shirt and some dark shades

In the snaps, Giovanni was spotted shopping with his girlfriend as he cut a casual figure in a white T-shirt and some dark shades

It comes after the Italian professional (pictured) has been accused of being 'too tough' on his  former celebrity partners including Amanda Abbington, 52, (pictured) who left last series

It comes after the Italian professional (pictured) has been accused of being ‘too tough’ on his  former celebrity partners including Amanda Abbington, 52, (pictured) who left last series 

‘They seemed quite intense and appeared to have a disagreement but they seemed to make-up pretty quickly as we saw them kissing in a restaurant later on.

‘He seemed to be worlds away from his Strictly drama as the pair were seen smoking while enjoying cocktails in the sun.’

The sighting comes after Giovanni ‘quit’ Strictly amid allegations about ‘serious workplace misconduct’. 

He is said to have not signed up to the new series after the scrutiny became ‘too much’ when three of his ex dance partners slammed his ‘militant’ approach. 

Amanda Abbington, 52, who withdrew from the series last year, has led the charge in accusing him of ‘difficult behaviour’ during training. 

The actress is said to have met with Laura Whitmore, 39, and Ranvir Singh, 46, earlier this year for an ’emotional summit’ to ‘compare notes’ about their time working with him. 

Sources told MailOnline the professional dancer walked away from the show because his future was ‘hanging in the balance’. 

Bosses of the dance show could not categorically determine his future until the completion of an internal investigation, which is believed to have sparked Giovanni’s decision to quit after almost a decade

A TV insider said: ‘Giovanni is the subject is an internal investigation, which is an ongoing matter.

In another snap, the dancing pro appeared worlds away from his Strictly drama as he and his girlfriend enjoyed some cocktails in the sunshine

In another snap, the dancing pro appeared worlds away from his Strictly drama as he and his girlfriend enjoyed some cocktails in the sunshine

In the snap, Giovanni appeared relaxed as he strolled around the shops with his girlfriend and a pal

In the snap, Giovanni appeared relaxed as he strolled around the shops with his girlfriend and a pal 

Giovanni is currently on holiday with his girlfriend Molly Brown, 25, who three days ago shared a series of photos with the dancer, referring to him as her 'best friend'

Giovanni is currently on holiday with his girlfriend Molly Brown, 25, who three days ago shared a series of photos with the dancer, referring to him as her ‘best friend’

‘Strictly would not be able to terminate his contract until the findings of the investigation are complete, so his future was hanging in the balance.

‘And besides, dancers are offered one-year deals to compete in the show, so it would just be a case of Giovanni not being given a new contract to compete in the next series.’

The source continued: ‘There’s no hiding from the fact the complaints lodged by ex-celebrity contestants is not a good look for either Giovanni or the show itself.

‘Strictly are taking them seriously which is why the issue is rumbling on.

‘But Giovanni is determined to prove he’s innocent of all accusations, but the stress and unwelcome attention they’ve caused is clearly a reason why he’s looking at pastures new.’

It was reported he had quit Strictly on Thursday night and the following day it emerged the BBC had launched an internal investigation just weeks after saying they wouldn’t be looking into the matter further.

The Sun reports he is being ‘probed over serious complaints made by ‘three traumatised contestants’.

Amanda has been named along with two unnamed contestants, with the Corporation now ‘evidence gathering’ in the wake of the damning allegations.

The Italian professional had previously been accused of being ‘too tough’ behind the scenes by several of his former celebrity partners including Amanda, as well as Ranvir and Laura.

Giovanni previously defended his training style, saying: ‘I’m definitely a perfectionist.

‘Like everybody else, I like to win. But for me, it’s more about bringing the best out of partners, especially if I see that there is talent there. I want to do my job properly.’

A spokeswoman, from £700 an hour Carter-Ruck, told The Sun: ‘There have been numerous serious complaints made to the BBC who are now in the process of evidence gathering.

‘As it is still an ongoing matter no further comment can be made at this stage’.

Giovanni has faced a wave of scrutiny ever since his dance partner Amanda (pictured) dramatically quit last year

Giovanni has faced a wave of scrutiny ever since his dance partner Amanda (pictured) dramatically quit last year

In 2016, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore said she 'cried every day' and felt 'uncomfortable' while training with him

In 2016, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore said she ‘cried every day’ and felt ‘uncomfortable’ while training with him 

The Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh also complained about Giovanni to producers back in 2020, during their time on the show

The Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh also complained about Giovanni to producers back in 2020, during their time on the show

The BBC said two months ago that they would not be investigating Giovanni’s behaviour with Amanda.

A spokesperson said at the time: ‘There is a constant dialogue between the senior production team and contestants to ensure any concerns are addressed swiftly.’

A spokesman for the BBC has declined to comment on Giovanni’s departure. They told MailOnline: ‘The professional dancers for 2024 will be announced in due course’.

MailOnline has contacted Giovanni’s representatives for comment. 

In 2016, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore said she ‘cried every day’ and felt ‘uncomfortable’ while training with him.

She later wrote for HuffPost UK in 2018: ‘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 and in the end I felt broken, I cried every day. And I really was broken, both mentally and physically, by the end.’

It’s also thought that Giovanni also clashed with his 2018 celebrity partner Faye Tozer.

The former member of the 1990s band Steps, Faye Tozer, is said to have struggled to work with him and broke down in tears following an appearance together on the spin-off show, It Takes Two.

Meanwhile, his 2022 partner Richie Anderson has unfollowed him on Instagram.

Good Morning Britain host Ranvir, who reportedly made a complaint against Giovanni to the BBC in 2020, admitted to feeling ‘scared’ of the Italian.

Yet Ranvir’s GMB co-host Kate Garraway had different thoughts on the news, saying during Friday’s episode of Good Morning Britain she thinks Giovanni will be ‘deeply missed.’

Giovanni has jetted off to Portugal with his girlfriend Molly amid the furore

Giovanni has jetted off to Portugal with his girlfriend Molly amid the furore 

It's also thought that Giovanni clashed with his 2018 celebrity partner Faye Tozer (pictured)

It’s also thought that Giovanni clashed with his 2018 celebrity partner Faye Tozer (pictured) 

Meanwhile, his 2022 partner Richie Anderson has unfollowed him on Instagram

Meanwhile, his 2022 partner Richie Anderson has unfollowed him on Instagram

According to an insider, Giovanni feels like he has achieved everything he can on the show, having lifted the glitterball with Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021 and got to the final several times

According to an insider, Giovanni feels like he has achieved everything he can on the show, having lifted the glitterball with Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021 and got to the final several times 

Speaking to her co-host Rob Rinder on the ITV show, she said: ‘He was great on the show and people love him.’

Kate had appeared on Strictly in 2007 where she was partnered up with Giovanni’s close friend Anton.

The broadcaster added she had ‘loved’ watching their TV outings together, such as their new BBC travel programme, Anton and Giovanni’s Adventures in Spain.

She added: ‘Giovanni and Anton are great friends and I’ve loved watching those shows as well.’

Other former partners have also come out to back him, including Debbie McGee, the widow of the magician Paul Daniels, who was paired with him in 2017.

Giovanni also had a positive relationship with deaf contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis, 29, whom he led to a triumphant victory in 2021, with the pair going on to win a TV BAFTA for their silent dance routine.

Shortly after Amanda’s allegations, Debbie shared a beaming throwback picture of her and Giovanni taken backstage during their stint together. ‘Happy memories, Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly,’ she said in the caption.

He hasn’t completely cut ties with BBC, however, with another insider revealing that the BBC is considering commissioning another travel series with Anton Du Beke following strong viewer feedback. 

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