Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice says he has ‘no problem’ with Richie Anderson as he shuts down rift rumours

Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice has shut down rumours of a rift with his celebrity partner Richie Anderson.

The Italian dancer and reigning Strictly champion hit the dance floor with the BBC Radio 2 presenter for the first time on Saturday (24 September). You can find out more about Anderson here.

The couple performed a lively Cha Cha Cha to “I’m Your Man” by Wham!, but subsequent tabloid reports had claimed that Pernice was growing “frustrated” with Anderson “talking instead of listening” during rehearsals.

Appearing on Strictly’s sister programme It Takes Two on Wednesday (28 September), Pernice was asked by host Janette Manrara how they were enjoying rehearsals.

“We’re having a good time, we’re definitely having a good time,” Pernice said. “Obviously, it’s a dance competition at the end of the day, so we have to learn something.”

“But there is no-” he continued, before looking down the lens of the camera, “there is no problem between us.

“We are having a good time, so forget about what you’re writing. It’s not true.”

Manrara laughed, adding: “They are in love. They are in love, everybody.”

Anderson and Pernice on the first ‘Strictly’ live show (BBC/Guy Levy)
Anderson and Pernice on the first ‘Strictly’ live show (BBC/Guy Levy)

During this Saturday’s (1 October) show, the pair will perform a Quickstep to “Dancin’ Fool” by Barry Manilow.

Their score from this week’s episode will then be added to their 23 points from last week to form the new leaderboard as the public vote and one couple leaves the competition for the first time.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One. It Takes Two airs weekdays at 6.30pm on BBC Two.