Giovanni Pernice declares love for girlfriend Molly Brown after 'quitting' Strictly Come Dancing

Giovanni Pernice and Molly Brown (Instagram/Giovanni Pernice)
Giovanni Pernice and Molly Brown (Instagram/Giovanni Pernice)

Giovanni Pernice declared his love for his girlfriend, Molly Brown, as they jetted off to Dubai shortly before reports emerged the he had quit Strictly Come Dancing.

It was reported on Thursday that the professional dancer was leaving the show after nine years following alleged clashes with his celebrity partners.

TV insiders said Pernice has confided in friends about seeking new opportunities on other programs. This follows rumoured tensions with his partner Amanda Abbington during last season's show.

Abbington exited the competition in October, revealing to The Sun that she had been diagnosed with mild PTSD.

TV executives were reportedly "very keen" to keep working with the 33-year-old dancer. However, an internal memo listing this year's Strictly pros did not include his name.

Meanwhile Pernice has been enjoying a break with his girlfriend, Molly, 25, in the UAE.

The model, who recently rekindled her romance with the BBC star, shared a slew of snaps from their Dubai getaway where she called Pernice her “best friend”.

Responding to her caption, the Italian dancer, who went public with their relationship in February, commented: “I love a lot!!”

The affectionate couple looked inseparable in the romantic post, indulging in lavish eateries and days lounging by the pool and beach.

The trip comes as the ballroom dancer escaped the drama surrounding his Strictly Come Dancing future after it was reported that he wanted a “fresh start”.

A source close to Pernice told the Sun: “Gio feels the scrutiny on him has become too much, and now is the time to make a fresh start.

“He wants to focus on other TV projects, and feels he’s achieved all he can on Strictly, having won the trophy back in 2021 and reaching the final an unprecedented four times.

“He remains adamant he’s done nothing wrong other than being a hard taskmaster, but knows his style of training isn’t to everyone’s liking - especially in this day and age.

“He has a lot of other exciting projects in the pipeline right now, and he’s just super-excited to get cracking on them. This, now, is his priority.”

However, a spokesperson for the BBC told the Standard: “The Professional Dancers for Strictly Come Dancing 2024 will be announced in due course.”

Pernice joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, making it to the final in his debut year with actress Georgia May Foote.

He won the glitterball trophy in 2021 with EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Earlier this year, the Italian dancer defended his training methods, sharing on The Mirror’s Invite Only podcast: “I am a perfectionist, 100 per cent, but it comes from a perspective of caring.

“I think all of the professional dancers are in the same place. It’s a shame because, in my opinion, [Amanda] could have gone all the way."