Talk of the town: Giovanni Pernice

Talk of the town: Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni Pernice

This Is Me is your fourth year of touring your own show now. How does it compare to being on Strictly Come Dancing?

I absolutely love being on Strictly. It’s the best show on TV, and I feel so lucky to be part of it. You know, without Strictly, I wouldn’t get the opportunity to do my own tour. It is an amazing feeling to be able to do something I really love as a job. On the show it’s all about your partner, teaching them to dance and make them look amazing. On the tour it is all about me darling, ha ha! This Is Me is about the audiences getting to know me a little better. 

You’ve been on Strictly for five years now – and three times you reached the final! How have you managed that?

It’s good, you know, as I said before I feel so lucky to be on the show and to have had such great partners. I just can’t seem to win the glitter ball!

Is that your priority when you’re in the competition?

I dream about that trophy every night. I would love to sleep next to that trophy for the rest of my life. But seriously, the priority of the competition is to get to the end – obviously that’s what we all want – to teach your celebrity a new dance every week and hopefully do a good job so they go far.  Then we know our job is complete. But you know, it’s down to the public if they want to vote for us or not.

We loved your partnership with Michelle Visage on the last series. Tell us a little bit about that…

I loved every single second with Michelle. She is such a determined person and she put in a lot of hard work because she wanted to be amazing. She is a partner I will remember forever. We’ll be friends for life.

Will we get to see #teamvisagio perform together again?

Oh, definitely! Michelle is going to be my special guest at the London West End gala performance of This Is Me, at Her Majesty’s Theatre later this month on April 12. You don’t want to miss it, trust me!

This is your fourth tour so how do you keep the audiences coming back for more?

I just want to try and do something different. Something that you haven’t seen before. I want to challenge myself and show off my hidden talents. It’s a surprise, so you’ll have to come and watch the show. But I can tell you that I’ll be wearing a tail suit, which I haven’t done before in any of my other shows. I’ve also got a set and my biggest ever cast, it’s going to be my biggest and best tour yet. I’m so excited!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

For me I love Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, all the legends of the past, you know – even Anton Du Beke! Well, he’s not quite from the past, but he is a legend. One of my biggest idols is Freddie Mercury. He could do everything and he had such a power and incredible energy on stage. Unfortunately, I never got to see him live, but I watch all of the clips of him on YouTube and he is just incredible, honestly. He has just an unbelievable energy.

Is that what you are going to try to bring to your show, an extra level of energy?

I always try to give more than 100 per cent. People are coming to see me, so I want them to enjoy the show and have a good night out. That’s what it is all about. But it’s the audience who give you that energy. When there are a thousand people every night cheering for you and they appreciate what you are doing, it’s a feeling you can’t describe. I feel incredibly blessed to be in this position and I’m lucky, really lucky.

How do you come up with the idea for the show and the choreography?

Well, I meet my producer and the choreographers, Trent and Gordana. They are my good friends and they have worked on Strictly and are fantastic. We work together, talk through ideas and combine everything to create a show. Gordana also makes the costumes, so it’s a good team.

And your cast, who is joining you this year?

This year I have two leading ladies – I know, I know, I’m so lucky. Nancy Xu is the newest professional dancer on Strictly and she is just phenomenal. Her last show is April 7, and then Giulia Dotta takes over for the rest of the tour. She has done my shows before, and she was my partner for Here Come the Boys as well. We have known each other for a long time; she is from Italy as well and she really is an incredible dancer. I also have a lot of other Italian dancers this year, so we are going to have a lot of fun – and I’ve known them for a long time as well. Finally there will also be Oksana from Strictly and her husband Jonathan. They do some crazy lifts and tricks. It’s going to be a really good show and I can’t wait for everyone to watch it.

This Is Me tours the UK and Ireland until June 30 2020. For the full list of tour dates go to

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