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Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez reveal one rule they always follow during Strictly Come Dancing-Josie Copson-Entertainment – Metro

It works well for them.

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez reveal one rule they always follow during Strictly Come Dancing-Josie Copson-Entertainment – Metro

Gorka Marquez and Gemma Atkinson document their life in a reality show (Picture: Mark Forrer/ UKTV)

Gorka Marquez and Gemma Atkinson have made love look as smooth as a Waltz since meeting on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017.

Despite not being partnered with each other (Gorka was with Alexandra Burke, while Aljaž Škorjanec was teaching Gemma), their eyes met across the dance floor and they both took home a prize better than even a Glitterball trophy.

The continuing love story of the engaged couple has proved to be the perfect material for a reality show, with the first series of Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind the Lens, becoming one of the most-watched shows on W, earning them a second outing.

This time there’s an extra special new character – Thiago, nine months, who is joining elder sister Mia, four, in the Marquez-Atkinson household.

With such hectic work lives, and their growing family, Gemma, 39, and Gorka, 33, have become experts at keeping things flowing, including one rule they always follow during Strictly.

Professional dancer Gorka is training with a celebrity partner Monday to Friday, and is busy with the live show on Saturdays, making Sunday his only day off. The couple are determined it will always be spent together even if that means hours of travelling.

Gorka always comes home on Sundays (Picture: UKTV)

‘Gorka always comes home, even when he’s absolutely exhausted and even if it’s just for a few hours, he’ll do the drive or get the train home, just to spend time with us,’ Gemma told

The Hits Radio presenter is appreciative if Gorka is given a celebrity partner based near their Manchester home, and even jokes that she doesn’t all care if he gets Miss Word ‘as long as she lives local, and Gorka can help with the school runs’.

The intense job may make family life a little harder to navigate, but Gorka insists he’s never come close to quitting Strictly because of it.

Gorka was partnered with Nikita on the most recent series (Picture: PA)

‘It is hard being away due to my job and missing the family but a lot of people work away, including my dad when I was growing up. I won’t be leaving,’ stated Gorka, who has been part of the BBC show since 2016. Gemma jumps in to tell Gorka he can’t quit as her mum loves going to watch too much – anyone who’s tried to get their hands on Strictly tickets will know that having an in is invaluable.

The couple recall a particularly testing time when Gorka had to leave for a dance tour just three days after Mia’s birth. They received messages saying Gorka was a ‘rubbish dad’. Gemma now explains that Gorka was in a contract that he needed to honour and they didn’t want to let the thousands of people down who’d purchased tickets.

‘We have an understanding relationship. We know what works for us. I told him: “My mum is here, I’ll be absolutely fine. You do what needs to be done”.’

Gemma and Gorka have found their perfect balance (Picture: Instagram)

Now, Gorka never works in January as he’s working so intensely on Strictly for the five months prior, and you can’t catch him on tour in July either as that’s when both their children’s birthdays are. They are proud of the ‘balance’ they’ve created and their individual lives.

‘I was on my own for a while before I met Gorka and so was Gorka. I was doing so well and he was doing so well, and that’s what brought us together and it’s kind of always stayed that way. I know Gorka doesn’t need to be with me and I don’t need to be with him. It’s a choice which makes us value each other more,’ explained Gemma.

Their strong foundation has meant Gorka was able to accept a job on the judging panel for Spain’s version of Strictly Come Dancing. Despite Gorka, who is from Bilbao, flying back and forward during filming they don’t plan on relocating. Gorka left Spain as a teenager and feels like a return would be ‘going backwards’ and they don’t want to interrupt Mia’s schooling. However, they are purchasing a family home in the country so they can spend more time there.

‘I get grief on social media. I get called selfish for not allowing him to go to Spain when it’s him. I’d take Spain over our weather,’ added Gemma.

Gemma promises an honest version of their life (Picture: UKTV)

Gorka starting his new role, and the first months of Thiago have all been documented for their reality show, and they promise a raw version of their life.

‘We have no glam team, no scripts, it’s just reality when we film for around three hours, four days per week,’ explained Gemma.

‘We said if people like it great if you don’t and that’s fine because we can’t pretend for long, but we were pleased with the reaction so a second series seemed natural.’

The only time that filming is stopped is for their children. ‘One day, Mia came back from school with an earache, and so the crew left. Family comes first,’ stated Gemma. Although, most of the time Mia is excited at the prospect of the TV show, and asks ‘when the filmers are coming’.

Gemma started working out again when it felt right (Picture: UKTV)

Gemma addresses the pressure on mums to ‘snap back’ to the same body they had before having a baby in the episodes.

‘I don’t think anyone should put pressure on themselves, but it can be hard for women. I try to remember that every woman is different and every body is different. I’m lucky that Gorka is very supportive. He’s not bothered either way. Pregnant or postpartum he’s happy with how I am and who I am,’ she shared.

‘We’ve gone big on the fourth trimester to help and encourage women to know there’s so much more to your body, than just being able to get back in your jeans again. Our bodies are remarkable.’

Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind The Lens airs May 6 8pm on W 

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