Giovanni Pernice lifted the lid on his intense rehearsal schedule as his former celebrity partners have spoken out about their experience with the Strictly pro.
The dancer has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after his 2023 partner Amanda Abbington claimed that the show left her with PTSD and reportedly demanded footage of her rehearsals with Giovanni.
His alleged feuds with 2016 partner Laura Whitmore and 2020’s Ranvir Singh have also resurfaced, while 2021’s Rose Ayling-Ellis and 2017’s Debbie McGee have spoken out in his defence.
Speaking to Spencer Matthews on his Big Fish podcast last May, Giovanni, 33, gave an insight into his gruelling training regime as he revealed his key to success as a dancer was: ‘Practice, pretty much 20 hours a day.
He continued: ‘The studio is open 24 hours. Well, 18 hours a day, sleep and go back to the studio and practice. Lots of lessons.’
Giovanni Pernice lifted the lid on his intense rehearsal schedule as his former celebrity partners have spoken out about their experience with the Strictly pro
The dancer has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after his 2023 partner Amanda Abbington claimed that the show left her with PTSD (pictured on the show)
Giovanni also credited his can-do attitude and refusing to accept defeat with his success.
Explaining how he feels about losing, the star explained: ‘I don’t want to sound cliché, but when you lose, when something doesn’t go the way you want it to go, I am one of those people who gets back up, just like Rocky Balboa, one of my idols, you go down but then you straight away stand up.
‘There is no point for me when you lose to cry about those things, you are the person who chooses about your future. Nobody else can do it for you, so you have to find a way to make it better.’
Asked whether he ever feels emotionally vulnerable, he responded: ‘I stay away from that, the reason why, I think it’s a waste of time.
‘I think vulnerability is good, it’s beautiful but it just doesn’t really make sense in my head, because there is always a solution to do better.
‘I have got millions of problems, but I always find a way to make things better, I am not one of these people who cry. So vulnerable is not a word I can use to describe myself.’.
The podcast has resurfaced after Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood defended Giovanni amid the ongoing scandal.
The judge praised the show’s dancers as being ‘the backbone of the show,’ after it was reported that BBC bosses were backing Giovanni amid Amanda’s claims.
The Sherlock actress is said to have sought legal advice over the dancer’s alleged behaviour towards her and believes video footage could ‘back up’ her claims.
Speaking to The Sun ahead of the Strictly tour, Craig said: ‘The pros not only have to be creative and be able to be good choreographers, they also have to be psychiatrists, doctors, they have to be nurses, they have to be welfare guidance people. It’s not just teaching dance.’
Sherlock actress Amanda is said to have sought legal advice over the dancer’s alleged behaviour towards her and believes video footage could ‘back up’ her claims
It comes after Amanda revealed she was ‘sent death threats’ by Strictly Come Dancing fans in a new interview.
The star was paired with Giovanni but quit the BBC One programme mid-series last year citing ‘personal issues’.
It was then revealed she had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following her stint on the show.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Amanda gave her thanks to both her fans and fellow Strictly stars for their support.
She explained: ‘I was diagnosed with mild PTSD after Strictly for several reasons and I told a few people about that, in the utmost confidence, among other things that were happening in my life at the time both professionally and personally.’
Amanda continued: ‘I’m very sorry that people felt the need to send me death threats, threaten my children and bring up my past, healthy relationship with an ex-partner as an indicator of my current mental health. I wish those people well.’
She has two children with her actor ex Martin Freeman, a daughter Grace, 15, and son Joe, 17.
Recently it was claimed the show left her with PTSD and demanded footage of rehearsals to highlight the Italian’s ‘tense’ and ‘full-on’ training methods, which allegedly caused her much grief.
Amanda left Strictly during week five in October and failed to return for the final, where eliminated celebrities took part in a group dance.
Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has defended Giovanni amid his feud with Amanda
Amanda was praised by the judges for her performances on the show but it was claimed she was struggling behind the scenes.
After her departure, it was alleged she struggled with Giovanni’s ‘militant approach to training’, with her time on the show said to have been ‘plagued by difficulties’.
An inside source told The Telegraph: ‘It could be that she didn’t know what she let herself in for.
‘He [Giovanni] was quite tough and she found that difficult. If she wasn’t very well, that wouldn’t have helped.’
They continued: ‘She was with a partner that had a certain training style that she couldn’t cope with. Whether that came to a head or whether there’s something else going on I don’t know.’
It has been reported that she is seeking footage of their rehearsals to back up her claims as she seeks legal advice.
An on-set source told The Sun: ‘The BBC have received a request for the footage they hold of Amanda and Giovanni. It is known as a data subject access request.
‘There is a feeling that the recordings will lift the lid on what really goes on behind the scenes on Strictly. Things in rehearsals can become very tense.
‘Giovanni is a perfectionist and he can be incredibly full-on.’
A friend of Amanda told the publication it has taken her months to recover from her Strictly experience and she has needed therapy.
They said: ‘Amanda has been left broken and saddened by the whole experience. She has needed therapy and was left in shock by the behaviour she was exposed to.
‘Everyone else was having a fabulous time, but she was really stressed by having to spend eight hours a day with Giovanni. She spent a lot of time crying and couldn’t sleep or eat properly.’
The pal added that Amanda found the negative response she got on social media for not mentioning Giovanni in her exit statement difficult, but insisted her family and friends had been there to support her.
It was reported she had quit the show after clashing with Giovanni, but she dismissed claims of a fallout at the time.
Sources at the BBC are ready to fight the Sherlock star over her claims the show had traumatised her, saying that – at the time – she told them she was quitting due to a different medical reason.
A source told the Mail: ‘Amanda’s reason for quitting Strictly was an entirely different one to her PTSD.
‘She told production of a totally different medical condition and they [were] hugely supportive of her and did all they could to help.
‘Nobody seems to quite understand what is going on here.’
It is understood that first BBC chiefs knew about her PTSD was late last year when they received a request for the tapes.
There is added confusion because Amanda quickly shot down suggestions – made before the show aired in September – that she and Giovanni had fallen out.
On Instagram, she dismissed the claims as ‘bulls****’ and told people to, ‘Shut up, it’s b******s.’
During broadcasts, she and the Italian dancer – who has worked on the show since 2015 – were seen hugging and appearing to be friends.
One Strictly source said: ‘All you’d see at the studio were the pair of them hugging and kissing.’
Twinkle-toed star Giovanni was also reportedly only given the news of Amanda’s exit a few hours before the official statement was released.
Amanda left Strictly during week five in October and failed to return for the final, where eliminated celebrities took part in a group dance
A source told the Daily Star: ‘Amanda didn’t tell Giovanni she had decided to quit the show. The first he heard was a call from a producer.
‘This has really annoyed him. He’s barely heard from her for 10 days. She hasn’t been replying to messages or telling him what’s happening.
‘He’s been complaining about it to friends. He’s frustrated. He is worried the drama will be damaging for his career and make him look bad.’
However, according to reports, BBC bosses are sticking behind Giovanni in the wake of the feud.
According to The Sun, bosses arranged a call between Giovanni’s management and Strictly executives where they offered him their full support and checked in on his mental health.
Giovanni is understood to have been assured that his place on the show is secure.
A source said: ‘It’s no secret Gio and Amanda had a tricky relationship — but there are two sides to every story.