Strictly fans got a surprise on Saturday, when professional dancer Giovanni Pernice appeared in a revealing photograph on the show's Twitter feed. The handsome dancer, who is partnered with celebrity contestant Debbie McGee, posed for the cheeky snap with fellow pro Aljaz Skorjanec. Wearing an open shirt, Giovanni showed off his tanned, muscular abs, with a slightly envious Aljaz looking on. "Less than an hour to go before the show and wardrobe have run out of buttons. #Strictly," read the caption.
Giovanni with celebrity dance partner Debbie McGee
Fans of the show loved the revealing photo, with one writing: "@debbiemcgee is a very lucky lady. Not envious at all." Another said: "Well well well shame there were buttons on Aljaz's shirt. #Strictly."
Giovanni is a popular dancer on Strictly, having hit headlines last Saturday for a perfect 40 score with Debbie . The pair have a 32-year age-gap between them but their close friendship has sparked romance rumours amongst fans. This week Giovanni, 27, told The Mirror he has a deep connection with the star. "I've got the winning partner, not just in this competition, but for the rest of my life," the Italian dancer said. "Debbie has to be the best person I've met in this country so far. She is just amazing."
However, Debbie dispelled speculation of a romantic relationship with Giovanni, telling Bella Magazine: "We have great chemistry and love dancing together. But there's nothing going on." She continued: "For a woman of my age, it makes me feel fantastic. To be nearly 60 and have people think I'd be having an affair with such a good-looking Italian is good for one's confidence!"
Giovanni with ex-girlfriend Georgia May-Foote
Giovanni dated actress Georgia May-Foote for a year after meeting on the BBC dance programme. The pair confirmed their split at the end of August, issuing a joint statement that said they were moving forward as "friends". "It is with great sadness we have decided to split up," it read. "There is nobody else involved. Although it was not an easy decision to make sometimes you realize 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."