Strictly Come Dancing stars placed on Giovanni Pernice ‘ban’ after ‘unhelpful’ Shirley Ballas remark

Strictly Come Dancing stars have reportedly been ‘banned’ from talking about Giovanni Pernice (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reportedly ‘banned’ the cast from discussing the ongoing situation with Giovanni Pernice.

The 33-year-old dancer, who won’t be returning for the upcoming series, has faced accusations by former contestants, which sparked an investigation from the BBC into his behaviour and teaching methods.

The Latin and ballroom show is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year, and bosses are keen to focus on the milestone.

Head judge Shirley Ballas recently defended Giovanni and hailed him a ‘perfect gentleman’, which is said to have sparked a new rule from producers.

An insider told The Sun: ‘We’re just a few weeks away from the 2024 cast reveal and bosses are worried the scandal is now dangerously close to overshadowing the new series.

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‘A lot of work has gone into it as it’s the 20th anniversary, and now – still – all anyone talks about is Giovanni.

Shirley Ballas has defended Giovanni in interviews (Picture: Shirley Ballas/Instagram)

‘Shirley launching such a passionate defence of him was far from helpful and stoked the flames. Bosses hope gagging the cast will help.’

It’s said that all professionals on the show have been given training on how to handle questions about Giovanni, and avoid tough topics.

The dancer has strongly denied the accusations, while he won’t be part of the new lineup.

Shirley’s comments have apparently sparked a new rule (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Speaking on Lorraine, Shirley previously said: ‘I’ve known Giovanni for many years and he is an absolutely splendid teacher.

‘My only ever experience with him is he is an absolute gentlemen. He gives 100%. Strictly and shows like that they are tough shows so you know when you sign up for that kind of thing. It’s quite difficult to do the show.’

For the past few months, the Italian dancer has faced accusations by former contestants, including Amanda Abbington, who quit Strictly after five weeks last year, citing ‘personal reasons’ at the time, before saying her experience left her with PTSD.

Amanda Abbington has said her Strictly experience left her with PTSD (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)

It is believed Amanda met with Giovanni’s former dance partners Laura Whitmore and Ranvir Singh to ‘compare notes’ about their experiences with him on the show, and have considered launching legal action.

Giovanni has defended himself on social media over the claims, saying he ‘rejects any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, adding: ‘I look forward to clearing my name.’

He is said to have instructed lawyers to fight the claims, and in his latest statement, which was posted on Sunday June 16, he wrote: ‘To my fans and followers, Every week, there are totally untrue stories about me in the media.

Giovanni has denied the accusations (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

‘As you know, I have always rejected any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour. The latest accusations are simply false.’

He continued: ‘I am cooperating fully with the ongoing BBC investigation, which will determine the truth. As requested, I have stayed silent, but I am looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth. has contacted the BBC for comment.

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