Strictly star Giovanni’s love life from ‘furious’ ex to heartbreaking admission

Giovanni Pernice, who has been a professional dancer on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing since 2015, has often had his love life in the spotlight.

This is partly because the 33-year-old Italian star has dated plenty of celebrities, including TOWIE’s Jess Wright, Love Island’s Maura Higgins and his former Strictly partner Georgia May Foote.

Earlier this year, he was also said to have called time on a romance with fellow Strictly professional Jowita Przystał after just a few months of dating.

Fans were also left spellbound by his chemistry with Strictly partner, EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, whom he won the show with back in 2021. However, the pair have only ever been close friends – much to some fans’ disappointment.

As Giovanni celebrates his 33rd birthday today, looks back at the talented dancer’s star-studded dating history.

READ MORE: Giovanni Pernice’s Strictly Come Dancing future confirmed after painful injury

Georgia May Foote


During Giovanni’s very first series of Strictly in 2015, he quickly fell head over heels for celebrity partner, Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote.

The pair’s chemistry got them all the way to the final, where they finished in second place to The Wanted star Jay McGuiness and his partner Aliona Vilani.

However, they separated less than a year later, with Georgia telling her Twitter followers at the time: “It is with great sadness we have decided to split up. There is nobody else involved.

“Although it was not an easy decision to make, sometimes you realise that it is better to be friends and this is one of those times.

“We both have very busy work schedules for the rest of the year so we are both going to focus on our upcoming work projects and we wish each other well for the future.”

In a second post, she added: “Nothing i ever said about my feelings to gio were fake before people start. I still love him very very much. But things change.

“Please be respectful to me at this time by not saying awful things. This is a hard time for me.” (sic)

Jessica Wright


After just six months of dating Giovanni and TOWIE star Jessica Wright called it quits on their relationship in April 2018.

While the pair only had a short relationship, their break-up didn’t seem all that amicable, as the pair had an explosive showdown at the Pride of Britain Awards in October of that year.

In video footage obtained by the Mirror, Jess could be heard angrily telling Giovanni: “You’re full of s***!”

The reality star was overheard saying: “You broke my heart, you lied to me. I got in a cab and I never saw you again for six months, you’re talking s***.

“You used me… Publicity, fame. No one who loves someone drops them, you’re jealous of everything.”

Despite several people trying to intervene, she then continued: “We were together six months. You never cared about me. I want to know why you left me!”

Following their public splat, Giovanni told New! Magazine: “That’s what Essex people say. They’re very dramatic, but by the end of the conversation, we were okay. It’s fine. We know what was between us and why we split up.”

Giovanni also claimed that the decision to end the relationship was mutual and strenuously denied Jessica’s claims.

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Ashley Roberts


Giovanni struck up a romance with Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts after they got to know one another behind the scenes during the 2018 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

That year, Ashley was paired with Pasha Kovalev and Giovanni danced with Steps singer Faye Tozer.

In the end, both couples lost out to investigative journalist Stacey Dooley, who won the show with her now-husband Kevin Clifton.

After their series ended, Giovanni and Ashley were seen kissing in Miami on New Year’s Eve.

The dancer later posted an Instagram snap of himself kissing the former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! star with the caption: “I never thought anyone would ever make me smile, laugh and steal my heart as fast as you did !! I love you amore.”

However, the pair split a year later in January 2020, with Giovanni announcing the news on Twitter.

“@ImAshleyRoberts and I have made the decision to separate as a couple. We remain friends and wish each other well for the future,” he wrote at the time.

Maura Higgins


In 2021, Giovanni had a brief but passionate relationship with Love Island fan favourite Maura Higgins.

While they only dated for a few months, the reality star was apparently left blindsided and “utterly heartbroken” when they split in October of that year.

A source told the Sun at the time: “Maura didn’t see this coming and is finding it very difficult to come to terms with. She genuinely thought Gio was the one.

“Gio and Maura are both quite strong-willed so their relationship was fiery at times,” the source continued.

It was understood that Giovanni, who was also busy rehearsing for Strictly at the time, ended his relationship with Maura because it wasn’t the right time for him to settle down.

“It’s not easy going out with someone who’s on Strictly Come Dancing, with all the history there,” the source added.

Giovanni’s heartbreaking admission about single life 


The Italian star made a rare confession on his brand-new BBC show, Anton and Giovanni’s Adventures in Sicily, earlier this year.

Speaking to his friend and Strictly judge Anton Du Beke after they travelled to his beloved homeland of Sicily, he admitted he would like to have a family of his own someday once he finds true love.

“One day I will cook for my family,” he said, before adding: “My mum always says to me: ‘So, Giovanni, what’s the situation?’ Because obviously every time I date a girl, I always tell her and say ‘What do you think about this?’

“Bless her, she’s seen so many passing by. But initially, she’s like: ‘Is she the one? You know, I want a baby before I pass way!’ It’s all the time, constantly, it’s funny.

“Of course I’ll have a family one day, you just have to find the right person first. Personally, I am just very focused on my career as you were at my age.”

In a heartbreaking admission, he continued: “It does get lonely sometimes, it’s a tricky thing between – there’s a line, a fine line, between: ‘I want to be in a relationship and be with somebody because you get lonely’.

“But at the same time, you want to be free to be able to focus on your career. And also, this industry, is quite tricky, as you know, because you always have to be focused.”

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