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Strictly's Gorka Marquez on being Helen Skelton's 'support' amid marriage heartache

The Countryfile host split from rugby player Richie Myler ahead of Strictly Come Dancing

helen skelton dancing gorka
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
31 January 2023
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Helen Skelton has often talked about surrounding herself with "good people" following her split from rugby player Richie Myler in April 2022. And during her time on Strictly Come Dancing, her dance partner, Gorka Marquez, was praised for commending her after one of their live dance routines.

In a caring moment of support, the professional dancer had wrapped his arm around Helen and told her: "I believe in you, everybody here believes in you. You are an amazing woman, you're inspirational, an amazing mum and incredible dancer."

Watch the moment Helen Skelton rips figure-hugging dress during routine

Looking back at that moment in a new interview with HELLO!, the professional dancer confessed he was happy to be her shoulder to lean on.

"A lot of people say I gave her confidence and made her feel better," he said. "But I don't think it was me. It was her. I was like a crutch by her side to lean on so that she could find herself again and will always be grateful for that."

After 13 gruelling weeks of intense training, Helen and Gorka narrowly missed out on the Glitterball trophy last year. They were pipped to the post by fellow Strictly competitor Hamza Yassin and pro dancer Jowita Przystal.

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"It would be amazing to win," added Gorka. "But there's more to the show than just winning the trophy – it's also about the journey."

helen skelton dancing jive gorka marquez© Photo: BBC

Helen and Gorka reached the final last year

He continued: "Although I didn't win this year with Helen, I have a friend for life and that means more to me. What Helen achieved and the way she joined and left the show as a different person is so rewarding. I feel more grateful and proud of that."

The former Blue Peter presenter has now embarked on the Strictly Live Tour alongside Kai Widdrington.

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"Strictly has been the adventure of a lifetime and I'm so happy that it will continue next year on the live tour," she said ahead of the tour. "I'm really looking forward to seeing the fans across the country and performing my favourite dances from the series. I can't wait!"

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