Gorka Marquez insists Strictly is just a job for him as he dismisses dreaded curse

Strictly's Gorka Marquez has dismissed the infamous Strictly curse, insisting that for him, the show is "just a job."

The professional dancer appeared on Steph's Packed Lunch with his fiancé, Gemma Atkinson, and opened up about how they get into character for the intimate dances.

Likening it to an acting job, he said: "For me, I know there are a lot of rumours about the Strictly curse, but I can guarantee you that for all of us it is a job.

"We know we have to get into character. It is just a job and we love our job."

Gorka was partnered with Coronation Street and Hollyoaks star Katie McGlynn on this series of Strictly, but the pair were eliminated at the weekend, losing out to Judi Love in the dance off.

One member of the Steph's Packed Lunch audience asked the couple: "Has Gemma ever disliked any partner that you have had that you’ve danced with?"

Gemma, who was a contestant on Strictly back in 2017, replied: "Apparently, the press has said I’ve disliked all of them."

She added: "In fact, I read an article saying I was to blame for Saturday because they [Gorka and Katie] lacked chemistry because they were fearful of me. I said to you, Katie is from up North, she lives near us, take her for coffee and dinners…"

Actor Gemma also reflected on her time on the show, when she was paired with Aljaž Škorjanec, and revealed how it helped her feel comfortable about Gorka dancing with other women.

"I know how daunting it is as when I danced with Aljaz, I met Janette and I knew he was a married man," she explained.

"The Rumba was difficult as you’ve got to be so sensual. Janette took me aside and said ‘You’re dancing. It’s an acting job for the night, please go for it and don’t hold back because of me’ so, I never want Gorka’s partners to feel they have to hold back because of me."

The mum-of-one continued: “In the same respect that if I did an acting job and had to kiss someone, I wouldn’t want him piping up. I’m always encouraging. You’ve been lucky, you’ve had ace partners.”

Gemma and Gorka met on set of Strictly when Gemma was a contestant four years ago.

Although the pair didn't dance together, they soon hit if off and they welcomed their daughter, Mia, in 2019.

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