Professional dancer Gorka Marquez has announced that he won't be involved in this year's Strictly pairings

Sad times!

Professional dancer Gorka Marquez has announced that he won't be paired up with a celebrity on this year's season of Strictly Come Dancing. He made the announcement via Instagram on Wednesday evening, writing: "For everybody that’s been asking, I can let you know that this series, I sadly won’t be partnered with a celebrity for the main series of Strictly. However, I will still be heavily involved in all of the group numbers and all things Strictly! I’m excited to see this year’s celebs and my fellow professionals dance for the Glitter Ball and I hope to be back fighting for it next year. As always, it’s gonna be a GREAT series."

Fans were quick to express their dismay at Gorka's absence. One wrote: "Such a shame, you're an amazing dancer."

Gorka is a staple on the show

With partner Gemma at home with their new baby Mia, many presumed that the award-winning dancer wanted to spend the winter helping out with their daughter as much as possible. But Gorka's response to fans' comments suggests that the decision was in fact made by Strictly bosses. When one follower asked: "No, why? You're brilliant. I hope it's your choice so you can spend more time with baby and mum," Gorka replied: "Not really LOL." Yikes!

MORE: Strictly pro dancer confirms he is not getting a celebrity partner this year

Dad duties take priority! 

MORE: Take a peek inside Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals as dancers meet contestants for the first time

The doting parents welcomed baby Mia into the world on 4 July, and upon her arrival Gorka posted a touching tribute to mum and baby on Instagram, writing: "I took this photo a few hours after Gem gave birth to our gorgeous baby girl. I’ve been only 5 days away from both of them and It already feels like 5 months. Counting down the hours (48h) to be back with both of them and melt my eyes looking at those two beautiful faces."

If Gorka can't manage two days away from his family, we can't imagine how he'd have coped with Strictly's tight filming schedule, had he been paired up with a celebrity this season. Maybe it's for the best, Gorka!

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