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Strictly Come Dancing bosses launch extensive duty of care package for stars of the new series

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have launched an extensive duty of care package for the stars of the new series.

The new safeguarding protocol comes amid a probe into alleged workplace “misconduct” from professional dancer Giovanni Pernice.

The ex-Strictly dancer came under fire in recent months for his “militant approach to training” after his dance partner Amanda Abbington left the show abruptly – leading to an investigation into his behaviour.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington

The Sun has reported that stars in the upcoming series, which starts in September, will have access to various services to make them more comfortable.

These include on-call counsellors, cameras to film all training sessions, post-show therapy and chaperones.

Celebrities taking part will also undergo psychological testing to “ensure they are robust enough” to cope with the attention that comes with competing on the show.

Under the guidance of the BBC Duty of Care executive, new guidelines including training sessions and webinars will also be implemented across all of the network’s reality shows

A source told The Sun: “Strictly is the jewel in the crown of their schedule, and upwards of ten million people tune in weekly — that’s a lot of pressure for everyone involved.”

“The BBC is under enormous pressure to ensure this series goes without a hitch. Cameras will be installed pretty much everywhere and a counsellor will be on call 24/7.”

BBC director of unscripted shows, Kate Phillips, added: “The BBC takes its duty of care incredibly ­seriously and are always looking at ways to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of contributors.”

On Monday, the BBC confirmed that Giovanni Pernice will not return for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Following reports the 33-year-old had quit the show after eight years, the dancer wasn’t included in the list of professional partners for the 2024 series.

Giovanni Pernice

However, Giovanni has denied any suggestion that he displayed “abusive or threatening behaviour” while working as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

Amid reports a legal firm had contacted the BBC earlier this year regarding “numerous serious complaints” about his alleged behaviour, the 33-year-old vowed to clear his name.

In a statement shared on Instagram, the Italian dancer wrote: “To my dear fans, you will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week.”

“Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name.”

He continued: “Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive.

“No-one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me. I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be.

“This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win – for me and my dance partners. Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni.”


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