Fans notice ‘subtle irony’ as Amanda Abbington returns to BBC following Giovanni Pernice’s Strictly exit


Amanda Abbington has been quiet since the news that Giovanni Pernice would not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing this year, but she has returned to the BBC show amid eagle-eyed viewers noticing a subtle irony.

Wednesday night’s final episode of the ninth and final series of Inside No. 9 ended with a meta-commentary-style altercation between stars Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton at the wrap party.

The scene sees Abbington reprising her role as a fictional version of herself at a wrap party and entering a gender-neutral restroom, a scene she previously faced backlash for rekindling “drag” tweets.

In one of her tweets, she criticized a video of young children cross-dressing and performing in front of adults, leading some to accuse her of being transphobic.

She hit back on her own now-deleted account, writing: “I never mentioned the transgender community! How on earth is my post transphobic? I’m saying you shouldn’t do that in front of a baby. That’s horrible.”

She said in another tweet: [via the Daily Mail]”If you don’t actually have adequate, real milk in your breasts, then don’t try to breastfeed your baby.”

Inside No 9 viewers were quick to pick up on the reference, with one X user commenting: “The final episode of Inside No 9 was fantastic. It was borderline self-indulgent but forgivable. The scene where Amanda Abbington enters a gender-neutral toilet is the most fantastical element of the story.”

“The big plot twist last time #InsideNo9 was Amanda Abbington using the gender neutral toilet,” joked another, while a third added: “Definitely a subtle dig at ‘gender neutral toilets’ in last night’s #InsideNo9.”

“It’s great to have equality. And we get to see the women’s version. And of course, Amanda Abbington is back and looking amazing.”

Another said: “Amanda Abbington walking into a gender neutral toilet after coming under fire for her comments last year…amazing! So glad to see her back on screen!”

Amanda Abbington

Amanda returned to BBC screens in the final episode of Inside No.9.


When it was announced that she would be appearing on Strictly, many long-time fans threatened to “boycott” the show over her contract, to which she fired back: “Let me now state something very clear: I love drag.”

“I think it’s great entertainment and I love drag queens. I think they’re funny and they’re great and they’re art. And I think there’s definitely a place for drag queens in the entertainment industry…

“I have never associated this with the transgender community, and will never associate it with that community, as I see them as separate entities. I am not transphobic, nor am I a transphobic person. I am, and always have been, a strong supporter of the legitimate transgender community.”

She continued, “Obviously, I’ve said stupid things and I immediately regretted them. Everyone’s learning. We need to take a breather and take a breather. But I have never associated it with the transgender community and I never will.”

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington

Amanda and Giovanni have been at odds since she left the BBC show.


“So sorry if people feel the need to boycott Strictly because I tweeted about a drag show, but I don’t think 12-year-olds should be doing overly sexualised drag shows. This is my personal opinion and I don’t intend to force it on anyone else.”

“I am an ally to the LGBT community, I am an ally to women’s rights, I am an ally to kids being kids, and I am an ally to respect the ways of life of others.”

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