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BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice will not return as a professional dancer for 2024 series

Giovanni Pernice will not return as a professional dancer for the 22nd series of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC has confirmed while announcing its 2024 line-up.

The Italian professional dancer, 33, has been on the BBC One celebrity dancing show since 2015 when he reached the grand final with Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote. In 2021, he lifted the Strictly glitterball trophy alongside EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who was the first deaf contestant to win.

Giovanni, a previous winner of the Italian Championships dance competition, was last paired with Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington, who withdrew from the competition in 2023 citing “personal reasons”.

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The BBC did not announce Giovanni as part of its line-up of professional dancers for 2024 following reports that he would not compete.

It comes after the dancer rejected allegations last month that he displayed “abusive or threatening behaviour” while working as a professional on the BBC One dance show. The statement from Giovanni came amid reports that the BBC is looking into complaints about his conduct on the show.

In the statement shared to Instagram, the 33-year-old wrote: "To my dear fans, you will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week. Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name."

The professional dancers who will be returning to Strictly later this year are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di