Giovanni Pernice looking at other opportunities after denying he will quit Strictly

Giovanni Pernice was reportedly telling his friends how "he wants to quit" Strictly Come Dancing after his early departure from the series alongside presenter Richie Anderson.

The dancer was said to be "embarrassed" to be second out of the competition, according to the Sun, after winning the series with Rose Ayling-Ellis last year.

But hitting back at the reports, Giovanni, 32, set the record straight as he shared on his Instagram Stories: "Lol," with three laughing face emojis. "I'm not going anywhere!!!"

While Giovanni has proven that he will happily continue on Strictly Come Dancing, for the time being, a source told OK! that the dancer is however thinking about his options with his future career.

"Giovanni was not expecting to leave so soon. He lives for this show, especially after winning last year," a source shared with us.

"He was really looking forward to getting to know someone new. And he had a great time with Richie. But it was the shortest run Giovanni has ever had on the programme."

They added: "This could be Giovanni’s opening to look at other opportunities. He's thinking about his future career. He has hopes of being a TV personality in the long run now that he's a star himself."

A representative for Giovanni told OK!: "Gio is not leaving Strictly. He loves the show and looks forward to more years on it!"

It comes after fans became worried the star will quit following an "awkward" interview with Richie.

As they were discussing their brief time on the show, viewers noticed that Richie, 35, appeared emotional as he discussed his departure – but fans were quick to note that Giovanni was not quite so moved.

"This is absolutely the most awkward #ItTakesTwo interview ever," one said, while another added: "I sincerely hope he doesn't leave Strictly won't be the same without him!”

Richie was the second celebrity to be voted out of the competition after Loose Women star Kaye Adams was the first.

Judges Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood, and Motsi Mabuse all decided to save Fleur East over Richie – while Shirley Ballas backed the radio host.

The shocking elimination baffled many Strictly fans, as they expected the couple to survive a little longer.

One viewer tweeted: "I’M SO SAD I loved Richie and Giovanni so much!"

"Devastated for Richie and Giovanni," another said.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 continues on Saturday on BBC One.

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