Amanda Abbington ‘requests Strictly Come Dancing rehearsal footage with Giovanni Pernice’ amid legal advice

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Amanda Abbington has requested rehearsal footage from her time on Strictly Come Dancing amid rumours of a feud with her former professional partner Giovanni Pernice, a report has claimed.

The actor, best known for her work in Sherlock, was a contestant on the most recent edition of the BBC celebrity dance competition.

However, she withdrew from the competition after a few weeks, citing medical reasons for her departure.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington (BBC/Guy Levy)
Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington (BBC/Guy Levy)

On Saturday (6 January), The Sun published a report that claimed Abbington, 51, has asked for video recordings of her practice sessions with Pernice as part of her allegedly seeking legal advice.

A source told the publication: “The BBC have received a request for the footage they hold of Amanda and Giovanni. It is known as a data subject access request.

“There is a feeling that the recordings will lift the lid on what really goes on behind the scenes on Strictly.”

The alleged on-set insider added that the atmosphere in rehearsals “can become very tense” before describing the Italian ballroom professional Pernice as a “perfectionist” who “can be incredibly full-on”.

The Independent has approached representatives of Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice for comment. The BBC declined to comment when contacted.

Amanda Abbington on 'Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC/Guy Levy)
Amanda Abbington on 'Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC/Guy Levy)

When Abbington first addressed her exit from Strictly in October, fans noticed that she failed to mention Pernice in her message.

Posting a statement on Instagram, Abbington wrote: “It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly. I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue.

“It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.”

She went on to thank the production team and “everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring”.

Pernice, who has danced on the programme since 2015, shared a message of support for the actor on his Instagram, writing: “Amanda … I am so sad we can’t continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love.”

In their final appearance on the show, Abbington and Pernice scored 31 out of 40 for a quick-footed foxtrot.

Abbington did not return for Strictly’s live final in December as other departed contestants did, including Nigel Harman, who was forced to withdraw ahead of the semi-finals due to an injury.