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Gemma Atkinson reveals reason behind acting comeback - Exclusive

Gemma is set to star in an upcoming British film

Gemma Atkinson attends The BRIT Awards 2022 at The O2 Arena on February 08, 2022
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Gemma Atkinson has opened up about her return to acting, which comes almost seven years after she left Emmerdale in 2017. 

The actress, who shares daughter Mia, four, and son Thiago, six months, with her fiancé, Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Márquez, is set to star in an upcoming British film that starts shooting in March. During an exclusive interview with HELLO!, the 39-year-old revealed how her children are her priority when it comes to choosing her acting projects. 

"With films, there's a start and end date, so you can make it work logistically," she said. "That's now the priority – making sure I can do the job but also be around for the children."

Gemma Atkinson in a backless black dress with red lipstick© Karwai Tang
Gemma Atkinson is returning to screens in an upcoming British film

Gemma, who will return to presenting the drivetime show on Hits Radio in April, has also written a children's book called Dogs Don't Dance, which encourages young readers to find their own way in the world.

Revealing she was inspired by her children's personalities, Gemma said: "Mia and Thiago may be brother and sister, but they're different. I wanted to write a story saying that you can be different and it doesn't matter. It's about encouraging children to try new things."

Gemma Atkinson in black dress and Gorka Marquez in tuxedo© Mike Marsland
Gemma and her fiancé Gorka Marquez met on the set of Strictly

Dogs Don't Dance tells the tale of two pooches, one of whom likes dancing, much to the dismay of his fellow canines. Gemma's words, illustrated by Lisa Hunt, emphasise friendship, resilience and being true to oneself.

The main characters were inspired by her own dogs, Norman and Ollie. "They were sitting at my feet while I was writing, so it was a really nice process," said the soap star.

Gemma isn't the only one charting new territory, with Gorka having signed up as a judge on Bailando con las estrellas – the Spanish version of Strictly.

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez with their kids and a birthday cake© Instagram
Gemma's two children inspired her new book

"I think he will be fabulous. They've asked him to do it a few times, and this time, he felt as though he was ready," she said. 

Gemma's exciting career news comes just six months after she welcomed her second baby, Thiago. Sharing an update on her little boy, she said: "I don't know if it's the Spanish in him, but he's a very chilled-out baby, and Mia is really helpful. She's like a mother hen with him. The school runs are always a little bit chaotic and we're normally there at two minutes to nine, but we get there."

Gemma and Gorka officially announced the arrival of their son via an Instagram post in July. "Little man is here! He arrived safe and sound and he's utterly wonderful," Gemma penned. "Mia is already the mother hen we expected her to be."

Gemma Atkinson at home with children Mia and Thiago
Gemma announced Thiago's arrival in July

She went on to say: "We're all home together soaking up this lovely bubble before Gorks has to leave for Strictly rehearsals next week. Thank you for all your lovely wishes. Our family is complete."


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