BBC announces Giovanni Pernice absence from this year’s Strictly pro lineup

It has been confirmed that Giovanni Pernice will not be taking part in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing, for the first time in almost 10 years.

Giovanni, who joined Strictly in 2015 and won the show in 2021 with Rose Ayling-Ellis, will not be featured as either a main professional competitor or as a participant in group dances.

Earlier today, the BBC released an official statement to share the names of the 18 professional dancers that will be taking part in the 20th anniversary series. It is not yet known if Giovanni has taken a leave of absence, or if he has permanently left the BBC hit show.

Speculation surrounding Giovanni’s participation on the show had been mounting in recent months, following controversy surrounding his partnership with actress Amanda Abbington in last year’s series.

After just four weeks in the competition, Amanda suddenly withdrew from the competition for “personal reasons”, which have since been rumoured to be regarding difficulties with Giovanni.

Alongside the confirmation of Giovanni’s absence, the BBC has taken the opportunity to confirm that Amy Dowden will be returning to the dancefloor this year.


A post shared by Amy-Dowden (@amy_dowden)

The Welsh dancer was sadly unable to take part during the 2023 series, as she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in May.

Alongside Amy, other professional dancers will include the likes of Luba Mushtuk, Dianne Buswell, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones and Neil Jones. 

Reigning champion Vito Coppola will be vying for another chance at the glitterball trophy, alongside Nikita Kuzmin, Nancy Xu, Gorka Marquez, Jowita Przystal and Johannes Radebe. 

Completing the lineup of professional dancers will be Kai Widdrington, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Nadiya Bychkova.

It is expected that Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in its usual timeframe of September, with its celebrity lineup to be unveiled in due course.