gorka marquez launch

Strictly's Gorka Marquez keeps busy on first rehearsal-free weekend - see the gorgeous photo

Awwwww

Sharnaz Shahid

He may not be paired up with a celebrity this year, but Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez certainly has his hands full! The professional dancer spent his first rehearsal-free weekend with this girlfriend Gemma Atkinson and their baby daughter Mia. In an Instagram picture, shared on Gemma's page, the family-of-three could be seen enjoying a low-key stroll before Gorka's work on Strictly intensifies. "Sunday stroll @gorka_marquez," wrote the former soap star on Sunday.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday stroll 😌 @gorka_marquez

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

Their outing came shortly after the pre-recorded launch show aired on television, with Gorka acting as one of the professionals in the group dances. Fans quickly commented underneath the post, with many saying they were sad Gorka wasn't given a celebrity partner this year. "Wish you were a main man on Strictly Gorka, miss you," said one follower, while another remarked: "Lovely family. So upset that Gorka is not partnered on Strictly."

READ: Gemma Atkinson updates fans on her and baby Mia's progress in honest new post

However, one fan praised Strictly's decision for not giving the dancer a lead role this year. "Love that the Strictly producers have acknowledged that Gemma and Gorka need time as new parents with Mia," the follower shared. "The Strictly schedule is a challenge without throwing a new born into the mix. This way Gorka can spend time with his family, work in new things and also have some Strictly time without it getting over encompassing and taking hi away from Mia x. " The message concluded: "Don't get me wrong, will miss Gorka this year but good life choices have been made x." [sic]

gemma-atkinson-gorka

Gemma and Gorka met on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017

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.

MORE: Gorka Marquez reflects on amazing year after celebrating 29th birthday

"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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