Strictly: Gorka Marquez shares update from hospital

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Strictly Come Dancing’s Gorka Marquez has opened up about bidding farewell to his co-star Simon Rimmer, who took part in the fifteenth series of the popular BBC programme in 2017. The fiancé of model Gemma Atkinson, 31, revealed that he was “sad” to see the Sunday Brunch host leave the show, as the chef had helped to bring him and his now-bride-to-be together.

When he left I was quite sad because I really like him

Gorka Marquez

Simon appeared on the dance show in 2017 and was partnered with professional dancer Karen Hauer.

He became the fifth celebrity to be voted off the show after judges opted to save singer Mollie King and AJ Pritchard.

Addressing the moment the Saturday Brunch presenter left the programme on Halloween week, Gorka admitted that he was sad to see him go.

He said: “I love Simon, for me he left too soon to be honest.”

Not only was the dance star teary over seeing his close friend leave, but Gorka revealed that it was the celebrity chef who had bought him and Gemma together.

He went on: “When he left I was quite sad because I really like him, you know what the first time that me and Gemma went for a coffee was with him.”

Gemma was also taking part in the show that year and was partnered with Aljaz Skorjanec.

The duo made it to the finals but lost out on the coveted Glitterball trophy to Joe McFadden and Katya Jones.

Also in the interview, the Spanish dance pro admitted that he had no desire to be partnered with Gemma in the dance competition due to one specific reason.

Gorka admitted: “I didn’t want to dance with Gemma.

“She was very tall for me.”

He went on to explain how vital a good pairing can be for forming a relationship between the celebrity and pro.

Gorka said: “You see some people when they know who they want to dance with or who they don’t want to dance with, if they say they want to dance with that person over there they are very friendly, very happy, very helpful.

“If they don’t want to dance with someone, some people don’t even talk to them,” he continued to tell Scala Radio.

Two years ago, Gemma candidly opened up about her “embarrassing” start to the romance with Gorka.

The pair started dating after meeting on Strictly, however she explained that a rumour in the newspapers almost put the brakes on their relationship even starting.

She told The Dog In The Pond YouTube channel: “It was a bit embarrassing because it was in the paper that we were seeing each other before we were, and I remember thinking, ‘Christ I hope he doesn’t think I’m going round saying [it] to people’.”

The former Hollyoaks actress then asked one of Gorka’s friends to let him know that she had not been spreading rumours about them.

Recalling what she said, she added: “Please let him know I haven’t said anything, I didn’t want it to look like it was me, and I didn’t know he was saying the same thing to his mates!”

Gemma added that she also did not “fancy” Gorka when she first met him, as she “didn’t know him”.

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