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Gemma Atkinson reflects on long-distance love with Gorka Marquez

The Strictly couple are parents to baby Mia

Sharnaz Shahid

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez are living proof that absence does make the heart grow fonder. The couple, who are parents to their one-year-old daughter Mia, are no strangers to enduring a long-distance relationship - something they have experienced for a few years.

Both Gemma, 36, and Gorka, 30, have busy working schedules, and during the first lockdown, the couple had the chance to enjoy some quality time together.

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WATCH: Little Mia dancing to dad Gorka on Strictly is too cute for words

However, in a new interview with Mother And Baby, Gemma touched upon their recent time apart, where they spent at least three months away from each other due to Gorka's commitments with Strictly Come Dancing towards the end of last year.

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"Since we got together, Gorka's always been away or I've always been away," she explained. "So I think that's part of why our relationship works so well because we're used to time apart.

"I'm very good on my own, Gorka is very good on his own but we're even better together. So we've always kind of made it work as a tag team. When Mia was only three days old, he had to go away on tour and he was devastated because he was away for two weeks. But that's just what it is. It's his job. He loves dancing. So we just make the most of it."

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Gemma and Gorka are doting parents to baby Mia

Gemma and Mia missed Gorka during those recent months apart as COVID-19 restrictions meant that he couldn't return home for as long as he was in the Strictly competition.

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After he and his celebrity partner Maisie Smith lost out to Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse in the Strictly final, the Bilbao native was able to return to Manchester to see his family. Both Gemma and Gorka shared pictures on Instagram showing the moment the proud dad got to hug his daughter, bringing tears to everyone's eyes.

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Gemma shared this sweet photo of Gorka with Mia upon his return

On the topic of Mia's "sassy" personality, Gemma confessed she may end up being the stricter parent when their little girl becomes older. "I think she'll be able to wrap Gorka around her little fingers for the rest of her life," she added. "It'll be me who will have to say 'No, you're not doing that. Don't ask your Dad because he'll say yes!'"

The mum-of-one continued: "She looks the spitting image of how I did as a baby. I'll put our pictures next to each other and it's like two twin babies. And she's definitely got the little Spanish fiery side. If she really doesn't want to try a certain food and we're trying our best, she lets us know she doesn't want it!"

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