Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
alert-–-aljaz-skorjanec-announces-his-return-to strictly-come-dancing-in-hopes-to-‘make-baby-daughter-lyra-proud’-after-giovanni pernice’s-shock-exitAlert – Aljaz Skorjanec announces his return to Strictly Come Dancing in hopes to ‘make baby daughter Lyra proud’ after Giovanni Pernice’s shock exit

Aljaž Škorjanec announced his return to Strictly Come Dancing on Monday after it was confirmed that Giovanni Pernice would not be rejoining the lineup. 

The professional dancer, 34, who welcomed a daughter Lyra with his partner Janette Manrara in July last year, said he hoped to make the one-year-old proud following his two year hiatus from the BBC show. 

Giovanni, 33, left the programme last month amid a scandal after he was accused of exhibiting ‘threatening and abusive’ behaviour towards his celebrity dance partners.

During an appearance on The One Show this week, Aljaž confirmed he will be tearing up the dancefloor once more for the brand-new series this autumn. 

The fan will be waltzing back onto screens for the 20th year of the dancing competition. 

Aljaž Škorjanec announced his return to Strictly Come Dancing on Monday after it was confirmed that Giovanni Pernice would not be rejoining the lineup

Aljaž Škorjanec announced his return to Strictly Come Dancing on Monday after it was confirmed that Giovanni Pernice would not be rejoining the lineup

Speaking on the show, he said: ‘What haven’t I missed. I got to look after my beautiful wife, my beautiful baby for two years. But I missed everything about Strictly. 

‘I could not be more ecstatic to be back with the Strictly family! This year is such a special one for this legendary show, I can’t wait to be a part of it and make my return to the dancefloor.’

As Strictly celebrates two spectacular decades of dance, this series promises to be extra special with even more glitz, glamour and unforgettable performances.

Aljaž and his celebrity partner Abbey Clancy raised the Glitterball in his debut year on the show in 2013 and he came runner up in 2017 with partner, Gemma Atkinson.

He added in a statement: ‘I could not be more ecstatic to be back with the Strictly family! This year is such a special one for this legendary show, I can’t wait to be a part of it and make my return to the dancefloor. 

‘I had an absolute ball during my nine year stint on Strictly, during my time away I became a parent, which has been an exciting challenge in itself and now I’m ready to experience the Strictly magic again. 

‘It feels so right to be coming back, I missed the fun, glitter and the judges of course and I hope to make my daughter Lyra proud!’ 

Sarah James, Executive Producer of Strictly Come Dancing added: ‘We are all so thrilled that Aljaž is back in the Strictly Ballroom, bringing his incredible choreography and passion for dance.’

The professional dancer, 34, who welcomed a daughter Lyra with his partner Janette Manrara in July last year, said he hoped to make the one-year-old proud following his two year hiatus

The professional dancer, 34, who welcomed a daughter Lyra with his partner Janette Manrara in July last year, said he hoped to make the one-year-old proud following his two year hiatus

Giovanni, 33, left the programme last month in a scandal after he was accused of exhibiting 'threatening and abusive' behaviour towards his celebrity dance partners

Giovanni, 33, left the programme last month in a scandal after he was accused of exhibiting ‘threatening and abusive’ behaviour towards his celebrity dance partners 

She added: ‘During his nine series he was a firm favourite with viewers across the country, I’m sure everyone is in for a treat as he joins us to entertain the nation for a very special 20th year of the show.’ 

The announcement comes after Giovanni laughed off his shock Strictly exit as he hosted a dance workshop with his company Ballando on Sunday. 

While many have predicted what the dancer could do next, he didn’t seem too fazed about his career prospects as he joked about making his pantomime debut.  

While teaching participants a Cha Cha Cha, the professional insisted that when they answered them they didn’t say simply ‘yes’ but ‘yes, Giovanni’, as he added with a cheeky glint in his eye: ‘I’m getting used to doing panto, I’m practising!’ 

In another quip about his career projection, the dancer gathered the group to help him film social media content, explaining: ‘Well, I’m an influencer now!’ 

While it’s been claimed that BBC bosses have banned the cast from discussing the  ‘bullying row’, the pair proudly showed their support for the star by teaching at his event. 

As Shirley, 57, came onto the stage to teach a Jive, she couldn’t help but express her support for Giovanni – who quit Strictly this year amid the scandal. 

She told the dancers it was an ‘honour and a privilege’ to be at the workshop with Giovanni, 33, adding: ‘I’ve known him for 10 years and we’re good friends…’ 

Offering a ‘huge thank you’ to the Italian professional for having her at his workshop, Shirley continued: ‘I will be one person who will be by his side forever. What you see is what you get with him.’ 

The Queen of Latin went on to share a story about Giovanni’s caring side, revealing that when her mother Audrey battled cancer, Giovanni was a source of comfort for her. 

She recalled: ‘He was by my side and even when we were both so busy he would always ask how she was. 

‘We were at an event with a bunch of VIPs and me an mum were on the other side of the room but Giovanni moved past them all to come and speak to us.’ 

While Giovanni has been at the receiving end of much criticism amid the bullying row, Shirley can no doubt relate, having also dealt with backlash and trolling.

The professional dancer, 33, is at the centre of a bullying row after claims made of misconduct by his Strictly partner Amanda Abbington, 52, and two other women.  

Up to five celebrities have ‘already provided formal statements’ to two ex-Metropolitan Police detectives who are leading the enquiry, according to The Sun. 

Speaking on the show, Aljaz said: 'What haven't I missed. I got to look after my beautiful wife, my beautiful baby for two years. But I missed everything about Strictly'

Speaking on the show, Aljaz said: ‘What haven’t I missed. I got to look after my beautiful wife, my beautiful baby for two years. But I missed everything about Strictly’

He added: 'It feels so right to be coming back, I missed the fun, glitter and the judges of course and I hope to make my daughter Lyra proud!'

He added: ‘It feels so right to be coming back, I missed the fun, glitter and the judges of course and I hope to make my daughter Lyra proud!’

The announcement comes after Giovanni laughed off his shock Strictly exit as he hosted a dance workshop with his company Ballando on Sunday

The announcement comes after Giovanni laughed off his shock Strictly exit as he hosted a dance workshop with his company Ballando on Sunday

A source said the investigation could ‘extend into next year’ and management feel there is significant ‘pressure’ to ensure it is as thorough as possible.

The insider said: ‘Up to five stars have presented evidence in statements and WhatsApp exchanges. Gio is likely to be quizzed last, once everything else is in order.

‘He’s more than happy to speak to investigators and is determined to clear his name.’

The source added the BBC are hoping the findings will not be published in the middle of the upcoming series as the show celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The BBC launched an investigation after Giovanni was accused of ‘bullying behaviour’ while working with celebrity contestants on the dancing show, including Amanda, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore.

Amanda, 50, left the competition mid-way through the series, citing personal reasons after weeks of rumours about a feud with Giovanni. 

The Sherlock star said she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and demanded to see footage from rehearsals. 

Amanda later rubbished reports Giovanni had asked the BBC to record his rehearsals with the actress over growing concerns about her behaviour – claiming she had requested their dance practices to be filmed, not him. 

‘I asked for them to be recorded, it was me. Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us, a group of us.’ 

The actress is said to have met with Laura  and Ranvir  earlier this year for an ’emotional summit’ to ‘compare notes’ about their time working with Giovanni amid the BBC’s probe. 

Giovanni launched a fightback by hiring rival law firm Schillings. His case is being handled by Joelle Rich, 39, who represented Johnny Depp in his libel trial in 2020. 

A spokesman for Giovanni said: ‘Schillings is engaging with BBC Studios to provide it with Giovanni’s evidence to strongly rebut the claims being made about him and confirm Giovanni is fully cooperating.

‘As with any reality TV show, when decisions are being made for entertainment reasons, the producers have a duty of care to all participants.’ 

Giovanni also shared a post to Instagram detailing that he was ‘totally surprised’ by the allegations, which he denies. 

Giovanni has faced a wave of scrutiny ever since Amanda Abbington (pictured) dramatically quit last year

Giovanni has faced a wave of scrutiny ever since Amanda Abbington (pictured) dramatically quit last year

In 2016, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore said she 'cried every day' and felt 'uncomfortable' while training with him

In 2016, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore said she ‘cried every day’ and felt ‘uncomfortable’ while training with him 

Up to five celebrities have 'already provided formal statements' to two ex-Metropolitan Police detectives who are leading the enquiry, according to The Sun (pictured with Ranvir in 2020)

Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh also complained about Giovanni to producers back in 2020, during their time on the show

Former partners have also come out to back him, including Debbie McGee, the widow of the magician Paul Daniels, who was paired with him in 2017

Former partners have also come out to back him, including Debbie McGee, the widow of the magician Paul Daniels, who was paired with him in 2017

He said in a statement: ‘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.

‘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!’

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