'It's a shame': Giovanni Pernice speaks out on Amanda Abbington's Strictly exit

Giovanni Pernice believes he and Amanda Abbington could have "gone all the way" to the 'Strictly Come Dancing' final.

The professional dancer was partnered with the 52-year-old actress last year but she quit after five weeks due to "medical reasons" and later claimed she had suffered PTSD after the show, something which the 33-year-old Italian has now branded "a shame".

Speaking out about Amanda's exit for the first time, Giovanni told the Sunday Mirror's 'Invite Only' podcast: “It’s a shame because, in my opinion, she could have gone all the way.”

Giovanni has faced criticism for being too hard on his dance partners, but he insisted he just wants to do his best for the contestants.

He said: “I am a perfectionist, 100%, but it comes from a perspective of caring. I think all of the professional dancers are in the same place.

“In every single part of the world, if you’re a professional dancer on one of these shows, you have to get these people looking the best they can on Saturday night.

“And if we have good scores at the end, I do look back and say, ‘I’ve done a great job’. But we all care about our partners and we want that for them every single week – to look great on a Saturday.

"There’s no specific way that you are, or have to be with your celebrity. You make the most of their strengths so the only thing that’s constant is the fact that you have to do a show on Saturday night.”

Giovanni's friend, 'Strictly' judge Anton du Beke also suggested he thought he and Amanda could have won the show.

He said: “I thought you and Amanda were marvellous. I thought you were terrific. I remember a few years ago, Kelvin Fletcher came in and danced in week one, and it was amazing.

“As a judge, you sit there and you don’t know what it’s going to be like. And then you go, like, ‘Stone the crows, that was rather good’. And you’re a bit overwhelmed by it because normally, it takes a little bit of time. But Kelvin was terrific straight away. And I thought Amanda was the same. She was terrific straight away.”