Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez smile in cut-out comp image on a purple background David Fisher/Shutterstock

Gemma Atkinson admits she doesn’t go to watch Gorka Marquez on Strictly because it might put his partner off

The pro-dancer worries people think she doesn't care

Gemma Atkinson has revealed the real reason she doesn’t go to watch Strictly recorded live to support Gorka Marquez. And it’s all out of respect for his celebrity partner.

Gorka has been on the show since 2016 and he and Gemma met when she took part in 2017. Although they weren’t partnered together, love blossomed between them when they went on the Strictly tour together.

They have gone on to have two children together – Mia, four, and six-month-old Thiago. The couple announced their engagement in 2021.

Gorka has continued to appear as a pro-dancer on Strictly, most recently being partnered with Nikita Kanda. They were the second couple eliminated last year.

But Gemma didn’t go to watch the show recorded live – preferring to view at home with Mia beside her. And now she’s revealed the real reason she doesn’t attend.

Gorka Marquez and Nikita Kanda on Strictly
Nikita and Gorka didn’t go too far in the competition last year (Credit: BBC)

Gemma Atkinson reveals why she doesn’t watch Gorka Marquez on Strictly live

In an interview with The Sun’s Fabulous, Gemma said: “Gorka’s always telling me to come and watch – he says it looks like I don’t care, because I’m never in the audience!”

She explained: “But I’m cautious because I’ve been a contestant and I know that the last thing his partner needs is me on the front row every Saturday breathing down their neck. I don’t think that would be fair, because that’s their time with him and they need to enjoy it.

“So I just keep out of it and let him do his thing, so they can enjoy the journey with him.”

Gemma also admitted the so-called Strictly Curse “doesn’t bother me at all” because she works in the industry, so she understands “it’s his job” to be up close and personal with other women.

Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorenjac post on the Strictly tour
Gemma also appeared on Strictly – which is how she met Gorka (Credit Photo Flynet – SplashNews/

‘A rough patch’ for Gemma and Gorka?

Gemma’s admission comes weeks after it was reported the couple were going through a “rough patch”. Gorka has signed up for the Spanish version of Strictly, Bailando con las Estrellas, as a judge. It means flying to Madrid each weekend for filming. It was said Gemma was unhappy with how much time they were spending apart.

A source told The Mirror: “Gemma knows how important Gorka’s work is to him and goes above and beyond to be supportive.

“She’d been hoping they would have more time after the show finished, as he usually opts out of the tour to focus on family.”

The source then continued: “But then he signed up to Bailando con las Estrellas, and the plan changed. Gemma knows he’s just wanting to support his family, but it’s ­disappointing for her. It’s a really rough patch for them. Gorka has also been frustrated because they haven’t had time to travel to Bilbao for Thiago to meet his elderly parents.

“Gemma has been effectively raising two kids by herself. She was focusing on the end of the series as the endpoint – but the judging role was too good an opportunity to miss. As with any couple, the longer they’re apart, the more tension there is between them,” they then added.

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez smile on the red carpet at the Pride Of Britain Awards (Credit: David Fisher/Shutterstock)
The couple have insisted there’s no truth to the rumours (Credit: David Fisher/Shutterstock)

Gemma Atkinson hits back over relationship claims with Gorka Marquez

However, Gemma soon rubbished the claims. In an Instagram video she told her followers: “Yes, we did see those stories. Which is news to us. It is what it is. Happens all the time doesn’t it?

“It’s not true, hence the ‘A rep for Gemma and Gorka declined to comment’, comment because she’s got better things to do with her time,” Gemma said.

She also gave an interview explaining how they keep their relationship alive.

Gemma, 39, told OK! earlier this week: “Part of the reason why it still feels so fresh is because we’re not together 24/7. In February we’ll be six years [together], with two babies, and I still get excited to see him, but I think if we were together all the time, I wouldn’t.”

Last month the couple confirmed a new series of their reality show, Gemma and Gorka: Life Beyond The Lens.

Read more: Every romance that’s kicked off on the Strictly tour

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)