Giovanni Pernice Amanda Abbington Kristina Rihanoff Italy dance BBC show community Celebrity UPS Headlines Giovanni Pernice Amanda Abbington Kristina Rihanoff Italy

Strictly star says Giovanni Pernice's departure from BBC dancing show is 'massive blow'

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Strictly Come Dancing's Kristina Rihanoff has raised her voice in support of Giovanni Pernice after news emerged about his cut from the roster for the popular BBC One dance series.Former professional dancer and Strictly veteran, Kristina, hailed 33-year-old Giovanni as one of the show's top talents - both as a dancer and as a choreographer.

She expressed her disappointment at his departure, opining that it would be a serious loss for the dance competition.Earlier this week, the line-up of professional dancers for the 2024 season was revealed.

Loyal fans were quick to spot Giovannis notable absence - now officially confirmed - he will not return for the shows 20th anniversary celebrations.The Italian professional dancer made headlines throughout the 2023 series due to rumours of backstage squabbles with his then-celebrity partner, Amanda Abbington.

He also had to fend off accusations of "threatening and abusive" behaviour.In response to the swirling whispers, he said emphatically: "Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name", reports the Mirror.Speaking on Tuesday's episode of This Morning, concerning the recent changes to the Strictly ensemble and particularly Giovanni's ousting, Kristina, who graced the series between 2008 and 2015, expressed: "The news, I'm very saddened because I think when you lose one of the best choreographers and dancers on the show, as a professional dancer, I can say that it is very sad as he produced some very memorable dances and took quite a few of his celebrity partners through to the final.

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