Gemma Atkinson reveals when she and Gorka Marquez started dating – and it's later than you think

The former Strictly star was joined by boyfriend Gorka Marquez on Loose Women

Gemma Atkinson made a return to the spotlight on Tuesday as she and her boyfriend Gorka Marquez gave an interview on Loose Women. The new parents, who welcomed baby Mia in July, spoke about their first-time experience as a mum and dad – but the couple also surprised viewers by revealing exactly when they started dating. While many fans may have assumed that Gemma, 34, and Gorka, 29, became an item during their time on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, it wasn't until after the show finished that love blossomed.

"Well it wasn't until after Strictly finished that we started to hang out properly together, because during Strictly we didn't see each other, we were very focused on our dancing partners," said Gorka. "I was up north and Gorka was in London as well," said Gemma, who looked gorgeous in a floral summer dress.

Video: Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez reveal when they started dating

"When we were on tour, that's when we started spending a lot of time together. We both love training, going for brunch, so that’s how everything started," said Gorka. Gemma elaborated: "He asked me for a coffee and then the weekend after he said, 'Do you want to go for another coffee?' And then we kept going on and on and on." "You love coffee don't you?" quipped host Christine Lampard. "With a beautiful woman, yeah!" laughed Gorka.

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For the Loose Women interview, the actress had travelled down from Manchester to London, and en-route to her hotel on Monday evening, the former Emmerdale star admitted that she was missing Mia already. Mia – who was born on 4 July – was being looked after by her grandparents, meaning that Gemma and Gorka even got to enjoy their first evening alone together since her arrival while in the capital.

Mia made her TV debut last week

Ahead of the evening, Gorka had joked that the pair would be on their phones every five minutes checking up on Mia, while Gemma admitted that they were both too tired to organise anything to do. The star was also focusing on work while in London too, as a stylist had come to her hotel to help her pick out the perfect outfit for her TV appearance.

MORE: Why Anneka Rice pulled out of the first dance on Strictly

Gemma and Gorka met in 2017 before announcing that they were in a relationship on Valentine's Day in 2018, and by the end of the year they shared the happy news that they were expecting their first baby. On Saturday, Mia made her first TV debut as she appeared in a short clip on Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals, alongside her mum. The pair were among the pro dancer's family members to send in a video message of support ahead of the new series. Gemma held Mia in the clip, and told Gorka: "Hi Gorks, just wanted to say how proud we are of you. So keep going, keep making us proud, and keep dancing!" Gemma then mimicked dancing with Mia, causing Gorka and fellow pros Oti Mabuse and Giovanni Pernice to coo with delight.

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