Gemma Atkinson has opened up about how she found her Strictly Christmas special dance a challenge after being given the Jive. The former Emmerdale actress admitted that had to "get over" the fact that she was given the dance style for the Christmas special, despite finding it the most challenging during her time on the show back in 2017.
Gemma and Gorka are dancing together during the Christmas special
Chatting to the BBC ahead of the show, which will air on Christmas Day, she said: "My stamina has completely changed, massively. During Strictly, one of the dances I found the hardest and got the lowest score for was the Jive, and that's what we're doing for the Christmas special - so I've been thrown in at the deep end again. It's just something I need to try and get over and enjoy it."
Gemma also revealed that she and Gorka Marquez never dance while they're at home, despite teaming up for the Christmas special, explaining: "I've not danced at all, no. People always say to me: "Do you and Gorka dance together at home?" And we've never danced together at all. All I've done since Strictly is have a baby." That being said, she added that Gorka was an excellent teacher, explaining: "Dancing with Aljaž was so amazing. Dancing with Gorka is funny because he's very authoritative in the dance studio, which makes me laugh because at home it's me that wears the trousers! I've never seen Gorka at work so to speak, but he's a fantastic teacher.
The mum-of-one continued: "He's not giving me an easy ride, he's put his foot down for the time we're rehearsing - phone down, shoes on and let's get on with it. He was quite strict with me, which I liked." She added that the pair have only trained for six hours, since Gorka is currently in London for the main Strictly show while she is in Manchester. She said: "We've been Face Timing at night and rather than the whole soppy, 'I miss you', we've been going, 'Right, 5, 6, 7, 8' and trying to do the dancing. It's been quite funny."