‘He always goes wrong’ Giovanni Pernice explains why Anton du Beke never won Strictly
6th July 2022

Strictly: Giovanni Pernice discusses 'pressure' of 2022 series

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni has taken a playful swing at friend and judge of the BBC One show, Anton for his ballroom technique. Referring to him as his “big brother”, the hotshot Italian also paid a sweet tribute to the way Anton helped him learn English.

Jibing at the fact the show’s judge had been in the final once in the last 18 years, Giovanni blamed sloppy steps as the reason Anton hadn’t managed to get his hands on the Glitterball.

The Strictly pro revealed the pair have quite a laugh while filming the Latin and ballroom competition and the teasing is all in good spirits.

He said: “He always goes wrong with the steps, so it’s a little bit fun on stage.

“When we do the show together it’s about the fun that he’s never, you know, never won strictly, and I’ve been in the final five times.”

Landing in the U.K. with no English, Giovanni also paid a touching tribute to Anton for helping him settle in when he first started dancing on Strictly.

Acting as his “older brother”, the British professional dancer took young Giovanni under his wing and showed him the show ropes.

“We are very, very, very good friends, and he’s the only one that when I joined Strictly, he helped me with everything, you know.

“I couldn’t speak any English and he has always been there for me since the beginning, and we end up to be like, you know, we don’t like to say father and son, but like, um, but like brother, big brother,” Giovanni remembered.

Sharing this story with Nick Grimshaw on the broadcasting personality’s new podcast, Dish, Grimmy’s co-host Angela Hartnett was taken aback by this surprising revelation.

She quizzed the dancer further: “I didn’t realise when you joined, you couldn’t speak a word of English!”

He replied: “Zero. I did have a translator for my first season all the way through because I didn’t know what, you know, what the interview was like and what they wanted me to say.

“I thought I’m never gonna be able to do a job like this, especially the biggest show on television, you know, you have to teach a celebrity,” he shares of his doubts when initially starting out.

Giovanni first waltzed onto our screens in 2015 and quickly became a popular face on the BBC One hit show.

Reigning champion after winning the Glitterball Trophy with actress Rose Ayling-Ellis last year, the 31-year-old has confirmed his return for the 2022 series.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the competition and will see the return of contestants to the much-loved Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Disrupted by coronavirus restrictions, the show hasn’t been able to live broadcast from the iconic venue for the last three years.

As for Anton, last year saw the professional dancer hang up his shoes and pick up a score sheet.

The BBC has not confirmed if he will be coming back as a judge or professional dancer in the upcoming 20th anniversary series.

Rumours are also swirling Buckingham Palace could feature in the new season with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge, pushing for the production to pay a royal visit.

Listen to the entire conversation on Dish, the new podcast from Waitrose & Partners hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett. Available on all podcast providers now.

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