Gorka Marquez has opened up about becoming a dad for the second time as he does an exclusive shoot for HELLO! with his Strictly co-star Karen Hauer.
In an exclusive interview and photoshoot in HELLO! magazine, Strictly Come Dancing's Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez reveal the secret of their close friendship as they prepare for their UK tour of Firedance – and Gorka tells how he is feeling "so blessed" as Gorka is set to become a dad again.
"We hit it off from day one," Gorka, who joined 'Strictly' in 2016, tells HELLO!. "Karen was one of the first dancers to help and support me. We're from similar backgrounds, enjoy the same banter and only have to look at each other’s expressions to burst out laughing."
"We understand each other’s abilities and strengths," says Karen. "We always try to have fun, too, and the fact that we joke around and don’t take ourselves too seriously means that we work well together."
Gorka and Karen have become close friends over the years
Of the news that he and his fiancée, Hits radio presenter Gemma Atkinson are expecting a little brother for their three-year-old daughter Mia, Gorka tells HELLO!: "We're so blessed. He'll be a little sibling – and maybe future dance partner - for our daughter Mia. She’s obsessed with dancing, so who knows.
WATCH: Gemma Atkinson's pregnancy workout
"That we get the chance to have another baby - we never take that for granted. Life flies, so make the most of every second you have."
His Firedance partner Karen now lives just 20 minutes away from his Greater Manchester home with her new husband, Jordan Wyn-Jones.
SEE PHOTOS: Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez's zen sanctuary to raise second baby
DON'T MISS: Gemma Atkinson reveals due date of baby boy with Gorka Marquez
"Jordan loves Gorka and Gemma, so it's a nice balance we have here," Karen tells HELLO!.
"We all understand how hard it is when Gorka and I have to work away for so long, and it’s a real adjustment for our families that we’re away from home."
Having seen Anton du Beke make the leap from the 'Strictly' dancefloor to the judging panel, would she and Gorka like to follow in his footsteps?
Gemma and Gorka are happier than ever
"I would love that 100 per cent. Gorka and I with Anton would be perfect," she says Inspired by the idea, Gorka adds: "I will dance for as long as my body allows it, but I would love to be in the chair like Craig and Anton - and give an opinion."
Of Firedance, Gorka tells how fans will be in for a surprise at how different it is to the BBC show. "Because Karen and I are on Strictly, everyone assumes we'll be performing ballroom with all the glam, glitter and shiny, long spangly dresses," he says.
"But we’ve created the opposite. There's fire, passion and energy in every dance, and we bring a lot to the show from the Latin culture we both grew up in."
The Firedance tour begins on 23 February and ends 1 April
To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.