Strictly Giovanni Pernice’s life – famous exes, world records, ‘new baby’ tattoo

Giovanni Pernice has become the sweetheart of Strictly Come Dancing thanks to his strong friendship with his latest celebrity partner Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Fans have been in tears over their sweet words for each other – and in Saturday night's finale they won the coveted glitterball trophy, Giovanni's first time doing so.

Italian hunk Giovanni, 31, always seems to get on well with his BBC partners, but those friendships have been rumoured to have been more than that in the past, while other times romance has been confirmed.

While Gio has only won Strictly once, he's been in the final more times than he hasn't – and he holds a number of world records through the show too.

Now, as the reigning champion basks in his glory, Daily Star is taking a look at his very busy life.

Strictly career

Giovanni joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 for its 13th series, being partnered with ex-Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote.

In his first year he reached the final, but just missed out on winning.

The next year he was partnered with TV host Laura Whitmore however they were eliminated in Week 7.

Debbie McGee was his next celebrity partner in 2017, and again they reached the final, ending up as a runner-up.

For the second year a in a row, Gio reached the final in 2018 with his partner Faye Tozer, but couldn't quite make it to the top spot.

In 2019, Giovanni was partnered with RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, and they made it to Week 9.

Last year, he and Good Morning Britain's Ranvir Singh made it to the semi-final.

And he finally won the show this year with EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis – but it's clear he has talent and is an incredible teacher, as he's been in the final four out of seven years.

Giovanni made history when he danced with Rose, the first deaf contestant to appear on Strictly, and they were awarded the earliest 40 ever on the Halloween special.

The pro also holds the record for most 10s given, with a total of a whopping 98.

Famous exes

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Giovanni started dating Georgia May Foote after they were partnered together on Strictly in 2015.

They moved fast, living together after just one month of dating.

Soap star Georgia told Daily Mail at the time: "Gio is everything to me. I'm 100 percent happy with Gio. He's smitten and I'm the same. We trust each other. We fell in love as friends before anything happened."

However it wasn't meant to be as they broke up in 2016, with Georgia revealing the news "with great sadness", confirming: "There is nobody else involved."

Giovanni went public with former TOWIE star Jessica Wright in 2018, going Instagram official with a snap of them kissing on Valentine's Day.

However it's thought that they started dating in 2017 as they were seen out in London together.

It's believed that Gio met Jess through her brother Mark Wright, who knew the Italian dancer through Strictly.

But they split a few months later, with reports suggesting he couldn't cope with the attention Jess got.

The former couple then reportedly clashed at the 2018 Pride of Britain Awards, with a video obtained by The Mirror showing Jess explode at her ex, saying he was "full of s***' and: "You broke my heart, you lied to me."

The argument with Jess came after reports of a romance with Strictly star Ashley Roberts, who was partnered with Pasha Kovalev in 2018.

Gio and the Pussycat Dolls beauty were seen on a number of dates in 2018, but they didn't go official until early 2019.

He wrote that year: "I never thought anyone would ever make me smile, laugh and steal my heart as fast as you did!! I love you amore."

Sadly, they split up after just one year together.

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Love Island babe Maura Higgins was Gio's next well-known other half – and it seemed like they were the real deal.

Earlier this year they sparked rumours they were dating after they were seen at the same hotel, and they confirmed the speculation weeks later.

The duo gushed over each other on social media and fans thought they'd each found their soulmate – but they split up after four months.

Giovanni said "there was absolutely no wrongdoing" in a statement on Instagram.

Romance rumours

While it's not uncommon for Strictly pros to be linked romantically to their celebrity partners, fans were convinced that Giovanni and Ranvir Singh were more than friends.

The duo were paired together in 2020 and fans were sure they had sparked up a romance, after spotting undeniable chemistry between the pair.

But after the series came to an end, Giovanni told Entertainment Daily that he was single, saying "absolutely there's no way" he would date Ranvir, adding: "We are very very good friends."

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There appeared to be somewhat of a falling out between them this year though, as Ranvir was seen to have unfollowed him on Instagram and hadn't supported his partnership with Rose, unlike a number of other celebs he'd danced with.

She later re-followed him, and an inside told The Sun they were still friends with "no bad blood".

And while Ranvir, 44, didn't find romance with Giovanni, she did with 26-year-old Louis Church, who had been working as a production secretary on Strictly the year she competed.

World records

This year might be the first time Giovanni has won Strictly Come Dancing, but he's had plenty of glory through the show.

On its weekday spin-off show It Takes Two, the handsome chap has broken two world records – both related to dancing, of course.

Under the supervision of a representative from Guinness World Records, he performed the most Jive kicks and flicks in 30 seconds in December 2016, achieving 55.

Then, in December 2017, he broke the world record for the most Charleston swivel steps in 30 seconds, with 24.


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Giovanni has a number of tattoos and fans regularly get a glimpse thanks to his shirtless selfies or revealing Strictly costumes.

But his 2019 celeb partner Michelle Visage actually gifted him one, which he excitedly referred to as his "new baby".

He shared a photo of a freshly done rose on his hand and wrote: "Welcome to my new baby!

"Incredible job by @mileslangford… You mate are a star!

"And thank you to my amazing friend and partner in crime @michellevisage for the early bday present. Love ya!"

The rose is rather fitting, considering he went on to be partnered with Rose Ayling-Ellis, and won.

Giovanni has a number of other inkings though, including the date he won the Italian Open Latin Dance Championship in 2012 on his wrist.

On one arm he has "Nato Per Vincere" which is Italian for "born to win", and on the other he has "Never Give Up".

There's also a son on his chest, which is probably his most recognisable.

He also has what appears to be a letter A on his bicep, though the meaning of it is unknown.

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