BBC 'bring in ex Met officers' amid Giovanni Pernice investigation 'to interview complainants'

As the investigation into Giovanni Pernice's alleged inappropriate behaviour continues the BBC have reportedly brought in two ex Met officers to conduct the interviews.

The BBC launched an investigation after the dancer, 33, was accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show, including Amanda Abbington, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore.

And it is understood they have already interviewed at least one female complainant, The Sun has revealed.

The other two are due to be seen in the coming days as the organisation continue to reportedly scour nine years of footage from Giovanni's training sessions.

A source told the publication: 'The BBC is taking this extremely seriously.

The BBC have reportedly brought in ex Met officers amid the Giovanni Pernice investigation to interview complainants, The Sun has revealed

The BBC have reportedly brought in ex Met officers amid the Giovanni Pernice investigation to interview complainants, The Sun has revealed

The BBC launched an investigation after the dancer, 33, was accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show, including Amanda Abbington, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore

The BBC launched an investigation after the dancer, 33, was accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show, including Amanda Abbington, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore

'Two ex-Met cops are conducting all the interviews and have been tasked with gathering evidence — including texts and screenshots — which they will present to corporation executives.

'Giovanni has not yet been spoken to.'

MailOnline have contacted Giovanni's representatives. The BBC chose not to comment when approached for a statement.

It comes after reports Giovanni 'grabbed his crotch' in front of dance partners during rehearsals, BBC investigators have been told.

It's also claimed that Amanda has vowed to leave 'nothing unsaid' in her meeting with investigators this week.

The team investigating the bullying allegations has heard evidence that he made Amanda feel distressed when telling her in a crude manner if she danced well in rehearsals, according to The Sun.

A source told the publication: 'The BBC inquiry has been told Giovanni's lewd behaviour wasn't limited solely to Amanda — he did similar to other dance partners as well.

'It's alleged he would grab his crotch in front of them if they did something good in rehearsals.'

A source told the publication: 'The BBC is taking this extremely seriously. 'Two ex-Met cops are conducting all the interviews and have been tasked with gathering evidence ¿ including texts and screenshots ¿ which they will present to corporation executives'

A source told the publication: 'The BBC is taking this extremely seriously. 'Two ex-Met cops are conducting all the interviews and have been tasked with gathering evidence — including texts and screenshots — which they will present to corporation executives'

It's also claimed that Amanda - one of the three stars who have filed complaints against the 33-year-old pro dancer- has vowed to leave 'nothing unsaid' in her meeting with investigators this week

It's also claimed that Amanda - one of the three stars who have filed complaints against the 33-year-old pro dancer- has vowed to leave 'nothing unsaid' in her meeting with investigators this week

The BBC have launched an investigation after the dancer, 33, was accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show

The BBC have launched an investigation after the dancer, 33, was accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show

Giovanni has since shared a statement on social media denying these claims and said he is, 'looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation and ultimately clearing my name and establishing the truth'.

The BBC also said: 'It is our longstanding position that we do not comment on specific matters relating to individuals.'

MailOnline also contacted Giovanni's representatives for further comment on this matter.

It comes after Giovanni returned to social media for the first time on Thursday after the BBC confirmed he would not be returning to the show.

The dancer shared a video to the Ballando Instagram account in which he could be seen taking charge in leading a series of group dance sessions.

Keeping his words to a minimum, he simply added three love heart emojis to the post - proving that he still has a passion for dance.

The dancer is set to return to the stage for his show - The Anton and Giovanni Together live tour - on Friday alongside Strictly judge Anton Du Beke.

Meanwhile, the investigation into Giovanni's alleged workplace 'misconduct' is still ongoing.

His absence from this year's line-up was finally revealed on Monday when the BBC1 show announced which dancers would be competing.

The big reveal is a routine procedure by show bosses and does not mark the end of the probe into Giovanni's behaviour.

A show insider said: 'Giovanni's case is very much ongoing. The announcement is circulated when Strictly have finalised the contracts of the pros who are able to compete.

'Giovanni's absence has been known for some weeks, he won't have anything to do with the 2024 season.

'But the investigation into his alleged wrongdoings will continue to develop alongside preparation for the upcoming series.'

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The BBC launched an investigation after the dancer, 33, was accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show, including Amanda Abbington, Ranvir Singh and Laura Whitmore.

Last week a male celebrity reportedly joined the group of women making complaints about Giovanni's behaviour.

It has also been claimed that a professional dancer needed three months of therapy after starring on the show alongside Giovanni.

The Sun reported that the unnamed fellow dancer suffered 'significant emotional distress' on the show, that required professional help.

A source told the publication: 'One of the dancers on the show found it so traumatising that they sought professional help. The show is unlike anything else on TV. The pressure on those taking part is huge and shouldn't be under-estimated.

'But Giovanni's demanding behaviour behind the scenes took it up a notch and caused significant emotional distress.

'They were so upset by what happened they needed counselling to recover from the toll it took.'

Three women, including actress Amanda, have hired £700-an-hour lawyers at leading London law firm Carter Ruck to pursue claims against Giovanni and the BBC.

And in the latest twist of the bitter legal battle, an unnamed male star, who worked with Giovanni during his time on the show, is said to have shared his experiences with the law firm.

'After three women came forward, a man has now joined their ranks. He personally reached out to the women at the heart of this unfolding crisis, offering them his support and full backing,' a source told The Sun .

'He has also been in touch with Carter Ruck and told them what he knows, and shared his experiences. These experiences were, at times, very tricky.'

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 told the publication: '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.

Earlier this week a male celebrity reportedly joined the group of women making complaints about Giovanni 's behaviour (pictured previous dance partner Ranvir Singh)

Earlier this week a male celebrity reportedly joined the group of women making complaints about Giovanni 's behaviour (pictured previous dance partner Ranvir Singh)

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

It was previously reported that the rehearsal tapes between Amanda and Giovanni will not be released to the actress after she demanded them to prove her claims of bullying.

Amanda was told they couldn't hand over the tapes to her because they feature a third person, Giovanni, not just her.

He is therefore entitled for private ­information or content about him not to be disclosed without his authorisation.

Amanda 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 previously 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 .

She told The Daily Mail: '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.'

Amanda went on to describe how her life had been devastated by the experience, which has exploded since she quit the show abruptly in the middle of the last series.

In January, she claimed she had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after working with Giovanni, and later complained of sustaining a bruised foot in training.

'You don't understand how awful this all is,' she said. 'Giovanni's fans have started trolling me now. I have had to come off social media and I'm getting death threats.'

The actress also insisted that she had complained of Giovanni's behaviour soon into the series. 'I went to producers early on and told them about Giovanni,' she said.

And she lamented of the fallout: 'All of this because I didn't enjoy a television programme. I didn't enjoy it because of all of this.'

Amanda has led the charge in accusing him of 'difficult behaviour' during training and is currently speaking with the BBC to discuss possible workplace misconduct.

Despite the furore, head judge Shirley Ballas has stood by the under-fire pro and will join him in hosting a number of dance classes in London next month.

Named Ballando, the one day event is led by Shirley, Giovanni and Anton Du Beke as they share their expertise with fans.

No details of how Giovanni is alleged to have behaved have yet been released. But the BBC put out an unprecedented statement about the dispute.

A Strictly spokesman said: 'If a complaint is made to the BBC, we assess and take any necessary steps to establish the facts, whether there is a case to answer, and, if appropriate, what action should be taken.

'This is all within the context of the BBC having duties of care to everyone linked to a complaint – that applies to those that have raised the complaint and to those that have been complained about.

'Whilst we know our shows have been positive experiences for many of those who have taken part, we will always look at any issues raised with care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned.'

Sources familiar with the situation say the BBC came under pressure from Amanda's team to say publicly that it was she who asked for the rehearsals to be taped.

The Sicilian dancer is accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show (pictured with Laura Whitmore in 2016)

The Sicilian dancer is accused of 'threatening and abusive behaviour' while working with celebrity contestants on the show (pictured with Laura Whitmore in 2016)

Despite the furore, head judge Shirley Ballas has stood by the under-fire pro and will join him in hosting a number of dance classes in London next month alongside Anton Du Beke

Despite the furore, head judge Shirley Ballas has stood by the under-fire pro and will join him in hosting a number of dance classes in London next month alongside Anton Du Beke

A source said: 'It's terrible, really. Amanda wanted the BBC to set her record straight, to confirm her version of events.

'But of course they can't. It just shows that if she doesn't like what is being said, she shouts loudly about it.'

Giovanni's absence from the lineup was revealed when the BBC shared the names of the professionals appearing this year.

This season will see the return of Amy Dowden , who was treated for breast cancer last year, alongside Dianne Buswell , Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima , Karen Hauer , Katya Jones , Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez and Luba Mushtuk.

Joining them on the dancefloor are Jowita Przystal , Johannes Radebe , Kai Widdrington , Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Vito Coppola.

The BBC also confirmed the return of judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel-Horwood and Anton Du Beke.

Sarah James, Executive Producer said in a statement: 'This year Strictly marks two decades of entertaining the nation and we will be back with a bang in September as we celebrate in style with our incredible team both on and off screen.'

Further details, including the brand new celebrity contestants taking to the floor in 2024, will be announced in due course.

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