Strictly's Gorka Marquez reveals struggle at being apart from family

‘There were times where I thought, what am I doing?’ Strictly’s Gorka Marquez tearfully reveals the struggle of being away from girlfriend Gemma Atkinson and daughter Mia, 17 months

Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer Gorka Marquez has revealed his struggle at being separated from girlfriend Gemma Atkinson and daughter Mia while training for the show.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the dancer, 30, was forced to live apart from his family in a bid to form a social bubble with EastEnders star partner Maisie Smith, 19, so they can train together.

But appearing on It Takes Two on Friday, the strain of the separation appeared to be  taking its toll on Gorka as he emotionally told host Rylan Clark-Neal: ‘There were times where I thought, ‘What am I doing?’ 

Tough: Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer Gorka Marquez has revealed his struggle at being separated from girlfriend Gemma Atkinson and daughter Mia while training for the show

Gorka and Maisie had appeared on the Strictly spin-off show ahead of the grand final on Saturday night, where they’ll be competing for the coveted glitterball trophy.

And after over two months away from home, Gorka admitted that sometimes he questioned why he was leaving his actress girlfriend, 36, and baby behind. 

Rylan said: ‘Gorka, you’ve had two months away from your family as well, we know how much you love them. 

Apart: Due to coronavirus restrictions, the dancer, 30, was forced to live apart from his family in a bid to form a social bubble with EastEnders star partner Maisie Smith, 19, so they can train together

‘Surely getting to the final now with Maisie going the full way is a little bit of a consolation for it?’

The Spanish dancer replied: ‘Obviously there were times where I thought, “What am I doing? Why am I not going home?”

‘It’s very hard to be away from Gemma and Mia.

‘But coming into the studio every day and to have [Maisie] there pushing and smiling trying to be her best, it pays off.’

Emotional: The strain of the separation appeared to be taking its toll on Gorka as he emotionally told host Rylan Clark-Neal: ‘There were times where I thought, ‘What am I doing?’

Difficult: after over two months away from home, Gorka admitted that sometimes he questioned why he was leaving his actress girlfriend, 36, and 17-month-old baby behind for the show 

Missing them: ‘Obviously there were times where I thought, ‘What am I doing? Why am I not going home?’ ‘It’s very hard to be away from Gemma and Mia’ (pictured in April)

Trying to turn his sadness into a positive, he added: ‘I am just grateful she’s in the final and hopefully it ends on a happy ending for you.

‘We can get that trophy for you and it would be my way to thank her for the work.’

Things then took a very emotional turn as Rylan, 32, then surprised Gorka with a message from former Emmerdale star Gemma and their baby girl, who had drawn him a picture.

As Gemma told her partner how much they loved and missed him, Gorka broke down in tears as things became too much.

Sweet: Things then took a very emotional turn as Rylan, 32, then surprised Gorka with a message from former Emmerdale star Gemma and their baby girl, who had drawn him a picture

Tearful: As Gemma told her partner how much they loved and missed him, Gorka broke down in tears as things became too much

Support: He was comforted by celebrity partner Maisie, who had also become emotional at the clip

He was comforted by celebrity partner Maisie, who had also become emotional at the clip.  

It comes after Gemma joked that her mother has warned her it’s ‘too soon’ for another baby as she is set to be reunited with her boyfriend Gorka this weekend. 

The ex Hollyoaks favourite and the dancer have been apart for almost 87 days as he competes on the 2020.

Gemma, who appeared on the 2017 season, and Gorka will be reunited on Sunday after he competes in the show’s final with celebrity partner Maisie. 

Hilarious! It comes after Gemma joked that her mother has warned her it’s ‘too soon’ for another baby as she is set to be reunited with her boyfriend Gorka this weekend 

Talking about their reunion, the actress said her mother has already warned that it’s ‘too soon’ for another baby.

Speaking on Friday’s episode of Steph’s Packed Lunch, Gemma said: ‘He’s back on Sunday and it’ll be 87 days I’ve not seen him for…

‘My mum’s already said to me, “Mia’s too young yet, no more siblings, wait until she’s older…”, she’s given me the warning!’  

Talking about who she thinks will win the Glitterball Trophy on Saturday’s final, Gemma admitted that it is ‘so close’.

Not long! The ex Hollyoaks favourite and the dancer have been apart for almost 87 days as he competes on the 2020 (pictured in November)

Saturday’s finale will see Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer, HRVY and Janette Manrara, and Gorka and Maisie take to the dance floor one last time.

Gemma said: ‘This is the first year where I can’t pinpoint it… it’s so close, they’ve all been so good. Jamie’s got so much enthusiasm, Bill’s been on his journey, Maisie and HRVY have been really consistent and got better and better each week. 

‘It’s anyone’s game, anyone can win it. Obviously, I’m rooting for Gorka and Maisie and all my votes will be going for them.’

Due to the pandemic, Gorka has been away from Gemma and daughter Mia, having formed a social bubble with dance partner, Maisie, so they can compete in the BBC show. 

Yay! Gemma, who appeared on the 2017 season, and Gorka will be reunited on Sunday after he competes in the show’s final. The couple have daughter Mia, 17 months 

Gemma and Gorka confirmed they were expecting their first child together via the radio presenter’s Instagram page on February 1 2019.

They first crossed paths when they met on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 but they weren’t partnered up together on the show.

Their romance didn’t come to light until they went on their first mini break and made their love Instagram official in February 2018, a few months after the show wrapped. 

Steph’s Packed Lunch returns on Monday 4 January at 12.30pm on Channel 4. 

Exciting: Saturday’s finale will see Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer, HRVY and Janette Manrara, and Gorka and Maisie (pictured) take to the dance floor one last time

STRICTLY 2020 FINAL DANCES 

JUDGES PICK

Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez – Samba to Samba (Conga) by Gloria Estefan

HRVY and Janette Manrara – Jive to Faith by Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse – Quickstep to Talk To The Animals by Bobby Darin

Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer – Charleston to Zero To Hero from Hercules

SHOWDANCE

HRVY and Janette –  Boogie Wonderland by Brittany Murphy

Bill and Oti – The Show Must Go On by Queen

Jamie and Karen – I’m Still Standing by Taron Egerton

Maisie and Gorka – We Need A Little Christmas by Idina Menzel

FAVOURITE DANCE

Jamie and Karen – Couple’s Choice to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory

Maisie and Gorka – Quickstep to When You’re Smiling by Andy Williams

HRVY and Janette – American Smooth to One (Singular Sensation) from A Chorus Line 

Bill and Oti – Couple’s Choice to Rapper’s Delight from The Sugarhill Gang

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