Home Entertainment AMANDA PLATELL: Lies, vicious rumors and dirty tricks: So who IS trying to kill Strictly Giovanni?

AMANDA PLATELL: Lies, vicious rumors and dirty tricks: So who IS trying to kill Strictly Giovanni?

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Giovanni Pernice took a smoke break as he made his first appearance since being passed over for the upcoming twenty-second series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The BBC is reportedly “furious” that details of its high-level and highly confidential investigation into the behavior of Strictly’s most famous dancer, Giovanni Pernice, have been leaked.

There have been previous claims about Giovanni’s harsh training sessions with his ex-partner Amanda Abbington. However, last week’s accusation was the most serious: that Gio would ‘grab his crotch’ during rehearsals when one of her dancers was performing well. An accusation that he has publicly denied.

The race to find the leaker is turning into a whodunnit worthy of the detective skills of Sherlock Holmes, very familiar to Amanda, who starred in the BBC series Sherlock as Dr Watson’s famously loyal wife, Mary Morstan.

It has more comings and goings than a rumba and many suspects.

Giovanni Pernice took a smoke break as he made his first appearance since being passed over for the upcoming twenty-second series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Giovanni pictured with his former dance partner Amanda Abbington on last year's Strictly

Giovanni pictured with his former dance partner Amanda Abbington on last year’s Strictly

However, this, as with all the best mysteries, is not elementary. The stakes are high, and such claims must be devastating for Giovanni, as the BBC leaker will surely know.

Who had reasons to leak private accusations before their conclusions? Who holds a grudge? Who had the most to gain by destroying Gio’s integrity?

It would be easy to point the finger at Amanda herself, but perhaps that’s too obvious. A scorned lover? An aggrieved TV executive who wants to bust Gio’s shiny ball? A very nervous and perhaps not very stable famous diva? There have long been suspicions that he is a fellow dancer, jealous of Gio’s stellar success.

The BBC is said to be so “concerned” by these reports, which are destroying the integrity of the investigation, that it is determined to find out how and by whom the information is disclosed. I hope so, and that the culprit is named and shamed.

Yesterday, tough judge Shirley Ballas backed the under-fire dancer, saying: “The truth will come out.”

He added: “I have never, ever experienced any ill will, bad feeling, bad sportsmanship or bad manners on his part.”

One BBC member even went so far as to say that Giovanni was being “publicly vilified.” “We are talking about a confidential internal investigation, but there are several elements that are reaching the public domain,” adding that “it also seems silly that everything is anti-Giovanni.”

For it is Only Giovanni is left hanging to dry by these leaks, while he maintains a dignified silence.

Amanda is said to have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after her time on the show.

Amanda is said to have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after her time on the show.

Amanda suddenly left the show after just nine weeks mysteriously citing 'medical reasons'

Amanda suddenly left the show after just nine weeks mysteriously citing ‘medical reasons’

The latest vicious allegations mean he is not being tried by a private BBC body, but now by the court of public opinion.

All I can say is good luck to the Beeb finding out who is responsible. Anonymous briefings began against Gio months before the BBC investigation began in January, and soon after Amanda abruptly left the show after just nine weeks, mysteriously citing “medical reasons.”

Many fans thought the recently divorced 50-year-old mother of two might be suffering from menopause symptoms. During a live video to her Instagram followers, she claimed that she had only signed up for Strictly to challenge ‘negative’ perceptions of menopausal women, who had become ‘invisible’ to society.

Reports to newspapers said that Amanda found Giovanni’s training sessions so “abrasive” that it left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and that her foot was left “bruised” after he stood on it.

Two other women, TV presenters Laura Whitmore and Ranvir Singh, both former dance partners of Giovanni, joined Abbington’s camp when she commissioned high-profile law firm Carter Ruck to represent her. Giovanni responded by hiring major rival law firm Shillings.

What a tragic end to Gio’s Strictly career. Although she insists that it will not be canceled and, as proof, on Friday she began her tour of the United Kingdom with the help of Strictly judge Anton Du Beke who has remained loyal to her side. Giovanni also has a film called Man And Witch: The Dance Of A Thousand Steps and released a fragrance for his new brand, Vita.

A friend says “this is the end of Gio and Strictly”, which “is a real shame, but there is no turning back: it’s over.” He’s a tough guy, but this whole thing has hurt him a lot.’

Shirley Ballas has backed the dancer under fire, saying:

Shirley Ballas has backed the dancer under fire, saying: “The truth will come out”

To make matters more painful, the Strictly ‘family’ is looking forward to the show’s 20th anniversary, which will be celebrated later this year with a three-month TV celebration, of which Gio will not be part. They are “gutted” by his decision to leave for good, after “having supported him as a close friend and a star of the show.”

An insider added: ‘There has been immense loyalty to him from his BBC colleagues. We all thought he would disappear, but Amanda wasn’t going to let that happen.

Meanwhile, Gio claims his innocence.

‘Totally false stories about me appear in the media every week. As you know, I have always rejected any suggestion of abusive or threatening behavior. The latest accusations are simply false.

‘I am cooperating fully with the BBC’s ongoing investigation. As requested, I have remained silent, but I look forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth.’

Which leaves his millions of bewildered Strictly fans wondering: Who is trying to kill Gio?

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