gemma atkinson gorka

Strictly's Gorka Marquez reflects on amazing year after celebrating 29th birthday with his loved ones

It was his first birthday with baby Mia

Sharnaz Shahid

Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez has thanked his followers after celebrating his 29th birthday on Wednesday. The celebration was all the more special since it was the professional dancer's first birthday since his girlfriend Gemma Atkinson welcomed their daughter, Mia. Taking to his Instagram page to share a lovely picture with his little baby and Gemma, the proud dad wrote: "BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT I could wish for... @glouiseatkinson. It's been an amazing year that I will never forget!

"THANK YOU to everyone for your lovely messages," he added. "Let's make my 29th year full of love, happiness and awesome memories." Earlier on, Gemma had shared a series of pictures and videos of the birthday boy. The mum-of-one gushed: "Happy Birthday Gorks! Have the best day my love! Thanks for still grabbing my boobs on the regular in pictures. For always taking care of us, being the best Papa to Mia and always making me so happy." She continued: "We love you @gorka_marquez."

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One of the videos showed Gorka dancing with his baby girl whilst doting on her, while another saw Gemma cuddling up to her man on the beach. Delighted with the message, the pro dancer replied: "I LOVE YOU!!!" Originally from Spain, Gorka was raised in Bilbao, and has been part of Strictly since 2016. Last month, the pro dancer announced that he wouldn't be competing in the series as he hasn't been assigned a celebrity partner. However, the fan favourite will still dance in the group numbers and will be on call in case another dancer is injured. He shared that the change wasn't his idea but admitted he won't mind having a bit more time to spend with his family.

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"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!" he said at the time. "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." [sic]

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