Gorka-Karim

Strictly's Gorka Marquez and Karim Zeroual's sweet friendship revealed

Karim was brought to tears on Saturday night

Aisha Nozari

Gorka Marquez might not have been performing with a celebrity partner on Saturday night's Strictly – but he certainly acted as though he was! The Spanish dancer could be seen patting and hugging Karim Zeroual as the judges delivered their verdict, and he was being so supportive that he prompted Claudia Winkleman to say: "Everyone needs a Gorka!" It was so sweet to see that Karim and the professional dancer had grown so close.

Saturday's final was shaping up to be an emotional night for Karim, but at least he has his mum and sister in the audience to support him!

Gorka-cheering-Karim

The judges' loved Karim's performance 

As for Gorka, his partner Gemma and their daughter Mia were nowhere to be seen, but they'll be reunited on the Strictly stage sooner than you might think – as the happy couple is competing in the dance show's Christmas special together!

MORE:  Two very exciting special guests have been spotted in the Strictly audience - can you guess who?

Gorka-Marquez-Karim-Zeroual-friendship

Gorka and Karim have grown close 

MORE: Strictly's Karim Zeroual cheered on by special guests as he's awarded four tens

Gemma has been open about how difficult she has found it stepping back into the rehearsal studio so soon after giving birth. 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.

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." 

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