On Strictly Come Dancing, the pro dancers and celebrities often form close relationships during their time on the show. And when it comes to a new series, it's understandably weird for former contestants to watch their partner with someone else. On Monday night at the Inside Soap Awards, EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, who plays Kim Fox in the soap, joked that watching dancer partner Gorka Marquez – who she was partnered with on the show in 2016 – was like "watching an ex-boyfriend move on." The star was talking to reporters, including HELLO! at the star-studded event, held at 100 Wardour Street in central London.
Tameka Empson was partnered with Gorka Marquez in Strictly back in 2016
Tameka and Gorka were the second couple to be booted out of the show, but Tameka still hasn’t forgotten Gorka's training, and can still dance! She revealed: "I don’t practice dance, but if I put my mind to it I can still do the paso doble, and I can still do some of the routines, it's in my DNA!" She also said that she was had very much enjoyed watching Gorka on the show with dancer partner Katie Piper, before their elimination in week three of the competition. "He has been great with Katie as well, he has been really good," she praised.
MORE: Joe McFadden opens up about his relationship with former Strictly partner Katya Jones
Gorka met girlfriend Gemma Atkinson on Strictly
Gorka and Katie became close during the show, with Katie praising Gorka for helping her with her confidence and nerves throughout the competition. On Saturday night, Gorka posted a photograph of himself and pro dancers Aljaz and Giovanni to wish everyone good luck in the competition. He wrote: "It's almost show time!! Sad to not be dancing tonight, but will be cheering everyone. GOOD LUCK to my boys @pernicegiovann1 @aljazskorjanec."
READ: Strictly's Karen Clifton reacts to Katya Jones and Seann Walsh's kiss
Katie Piper was partnered with Gorka this year
Strictly has been extra-special for Gorka, who found love last year on the show with celebrity contestant Gemma Atkinson. Gemma had been partnered with Aljaz, and she grew close to Gorka during the Strictly tour. The happy couple often share loved-up photographs on social media, and even share the same passion for fitness, so much so that they go to workouts together! However, while they are both good dancers, with Gemma reaching the Strictly final, the pair have never ballroom danced together. "No ballroom dancing for me and Gorka," Gemma told HELLO! at the TV Choice Awards in September. "We dance in the club, but don't do any ballroom!"
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.