It's the Strictly Come Dancing special where all professionals and their dance partners aim to reach in the competition. And this year, show bosses are reportedly making sure they heighten their security for Week 9 at Blackpool Tower - this comes two years after professional dancer Gorka Marquez was attacked on the streets of Blackpool by a group of youths. "We take security and the safety of our cast and crew very seriously," a spokesperson told HELLO! on Wednesday. "All our security arrangements are reviewed and adjusted accordingly for every live show."
Gorka Marquez was attacked two years ago after the Blackpool special
According to The Sun, producers are hoping to stage this year's Blackpool event "without any mishaps". An insider told the publication: "Any protests brings with it the risk of some kind of incident, and an event as high profile as Strictly provides the protesters with a real platform." In 2016, Gorka - who was partnered up with Katie Piper this year - had two of his teeth knocked out when he was attacked by a group of youths. It is thought he was walking to a nightclub with some fellow dancers at the time. At the time, the BBC confirmed that Gorka was "sadly the victim of an unprovoked incident", and they added: "He will be back in training this week and is looking forward to the group routine next weekend."
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Meanwhile, former pro Brendan Cole opened up about why this weekend's show is important for the professionals. In his exclusive column for HELLO!, the star admitted that those who make it to the Blackpool show actually get an extra payment. "Blackpool week is always a milestone for the couples," he revealed. "It's an incredible show to be a part of with a big crowd, a lot of fuss and and it's also a chance for a jolly up north. There's also a little added incentive for the celebs of a small bonus in their pay packet."
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