Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice rejects claims over teaching methods

Giovanni Pernice
The dancer says he is 'passionate and competitive' [BBC]

Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice says he is "surprised" by media reports about his teaching methods and rejects "any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour".

The professional dancer on the BBC show added he was looking forward to clearing his name.

Legal firm Carter Ruck said it had contacted the BBC regarding "numerous serious complaints" about his alleged behaviour while filming Strictly.

The BBC has not commented.

Amanda Abbington, who was Pernice's dance partner in the last series, left the contest early.

It has been widely reported the Sherlock actress had experienced difficulties with Pernice, but she has not confirmed this to BBC News.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni Pernice's partner Amanda Abbington quit the competition [BBC Images ]

Pernice, 33, thanked his fans for their support in his message on Instagram, writing: "Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive.

"No-one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me."

He added: "I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be. This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win - for me and my dance partners."

The dancer previously told The One Show that he was "definitely a perfectionist" but said he wanted to get "the best out of his partners", adding it was a "tough job to do".

Strictly Come Dancing is one of the BBC's flagship entertainment programmes and is watched by millions every year.

Pernice joined the show in 2016, winning for the first time in 2021 with EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis.

He has also presented on Radio 2 and appeared on Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain with fellow Strictly star, Anton Du Beke.

The BBC has said the professional dancers for Strictly Come Dancing 2024 will be announced "in due course".