Giovanni Pernice has been a passionate and committed dancer since his first appearance on Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 but will not be taking part in latest series of the BBC show.

From the outset, the Italian dancer wowed the judges with a clean sweep of 10s while performing the Charleston with Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote and reached the grand final.

He won the competition’s Glitterball trophy with EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023
Giovanni Pernice danced with actress Amanda Abbington in 2023 (Ray Burniston/BBC/PA)

He was born in Sicily and loved to dance from an early age. At 14 he moved to Bologna to hone his skills at a prestigious school, becoming proficient in Latin dance.

He first started dancing in competitions as an adult in 2008, and won the Italian Championships in 2012.

After joining Strictly nine years ago, he dated Foote until she announced in 2016 that they had split, citing their “very busy work schedules for the rest of the year” and saying they were “better off” as friends.

In that year’s competition Pernice was partnered with Love Island star Laura Whitmore, but they were knocked out in week seven.

The Lorraine High Street Fashion Awards – London
Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice dated after meeting on Strictly Come Dancing (Ian West/PA)

Undeterred, he announced his first tour of the UK with the Dance Is Life show in November 2016.

In 2017 he reached the Strictly final with magician Paul Daniels’ widow Debbie McGee, and again in 2018 with Steps singer Faye Tozer.

However, his hopes the following year were dashed when he and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage were knocked out in Blackpool.

A year later, in 2020, he reached the semi-final with newsreader Ranvir Singh and his fortunes continued to improve with his 2021 partner, Ayling-Ellis, Strictly’s first deaf contestant.

They couple won viewers’ hearts with their Couple’s Choice dance, an emotional contemporary routine featuring 10 seconds of silence in tribute to the deaf community, as well as a quickstep and their showdance.

That same year, Pernice addressed his split from Love Island star Maura Higgins, saying “great relationships with great people can come to a natural end” and asking Instagram followers to stop speculating about “wrongdoing”.

In 2022, the dancer bowed out early when he and his celebrity partner, BBC Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson, became the second couple to leave.

BBC Children in Need – 2022
Strictly dancers Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice have toured together and also presented food and travel programmes (Danny Lawson/PA)

He was last paired with Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington, who withdrew from the competition in 2023 citing “personal reasons”.

Addressing her departure, Pernice told the Mirror’s Invite Only podcast: “It was a shame that she had to leave for medical reasons because I think, in my opinion, we could have gone all the way.”

Asked if he is a perfectionist, he agreed but said it comes from a place of “caring”.

“In every single part of the world, if (you’re) a professional dancer, we have to get these people on the Saturday night looking the best as they can,” he added.

Earlier this year, Abbington, 52, told The Sun On Sunday that she was “diagnosed with mild PTSD” and received death threats after her brief appearance in the show.

Away from Strictly, Pernice’s relationship with former professional dancer turned judge Anton Du Beke grew and they have toured together as well as presenting food and travel programmes on the BBC.

Their first show together was Anton & Giovanni’s Adventures In Sicily, when they explored the food and customs of Pernice’s homeland.

The “best friends” recently reunited for Anton & Giovanni’s Adventures in Spain, which aired in March.