Strictly in chaos as celeb ‘threatens to quit’ show hours before first dance after clashes with pro partner

STRICTLY Come Dancing contestant Amanda Abbington has threatened to quit the show after a series of rows with dance partner Giovanni Pernice.

The couple is in an argument, and the actress is not satisfied with the “militant” attitude of the dance professional during training.


Amanda Abbington threatened to quit Strictly after a series of rows with dance partner Giovanni PerniceCredit: PARumor has it that Amanda is not happy with Giovanni's 'militant' attitude at training


Amanda is said to be unhappy with Giovanni’s ‘militant’ attitude at training Credit: James Curley

The Sun can reveal that the escalating tension between them has become a topic of conversation backstage ahead of tonight’s opening of the BBC’s competition night.

A source said: “Giovanni is a tough presenter and takes the competition very, very seriously.

“Sometimes his behavior is incredibly rude and this can upset his partners.

“Amanda was really looking forward to dancing with him, but found his aggressive coaching style and attitude quite difficult to handle.

“He is quite militant in his approach to training. She was very shaken and talked to her team about quitting.

“It’s become a lot more stressful than she could have ever imagined and right now things are incredibly tense between them.

“That being said – somewhat ironically – they actually dance very well together.

“Hopefully they’ll talk things out and wave the white flag.”

It comes just a week after Amanda, 49, revealed she wanted the 33-year-old dancer as her partner, saying: “I went crazy wanting Giovanni, so it was a really nice surprise.”

It’s not the first time Giovanni — who won the 2021 competition alongside EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis — has fallen out with his celebrity couple.

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In 2016, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore admitted she “cried every day” while on the hit show.

Laura was partnered with Italian, who split up with Laura’s friend, Georgia May Foote, before the series.

She said she inadvertently ended up “in the middle of someone’s breakup.”

Laura later wrote: “I’m still not ready to talk in detail about my experience on the show.

“They put me with a dance partner that I was very uncomfortable with — and I ended up feeling broken, crying every day.

“And I was really broken, both mentally and physically, until the end.”

Meanwhile, Giovanni is also said to have “fallen out” with 2022 partner Richie Anderson, as well as falling out with GMB star Ranvir Singh in 2020.

Amanda, previously married to Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, has not had it easy on Strictly.

Shortly after her signature was officially announced, she was forced to leave social media after a backlash.

Fans threatened to boycott the show after Amanda tweeted her displeasure at the drag show aimed at parents with babies.

She called it “disgusting” and added: “You can’t have a penis and talk about yourself as a woman.”

She subsequently denied being transphobic and apologized for “stupid” and “ill-informed” comments in the past.

Last night, a friend of Giovanni’s insisted the dancer was a “perfectionist”, adding: “Amanda had a lot on her plate and Giovanni found it frustrating that she struggled to commit fully to rehearsals.

“He’s a perfectionist and when a celebrity partner is 100 per cent committed, he knows he can bring out the best in them and the partnership will work – just look at his and Rose’s experience on the show.

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“But they had a big talk recently and things are looking up between them.”

The BBC declined to comment. Strictly is on BBC1 tonight at 6.15pm.

A source described Giovanni as a 'tough host' who 'takes the competition very, very seriously'


A source described Giovanni as a ‘tough host’ who ‘takes the competition very, very seriously’

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