Gemma Atkinson on why she tells Gorka Marquez 'shop's shut' after second baby and reveals recent holiday with Strictly co-stars

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez with their two children - Mia and Thiago
Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez with their two children - Mia and Thiago -Credit:Handout

Gemma Atkinson has told Gorka Marquez 'shop's shut' as she discussed the arrival of her second child and why they're happy with two children. The couple met on Strictly Come Dancing back in 2017 and have since become engaged and welcomed two children into the world.

Gemma, 39, and Gorka, 33, welcomed their son, Thiago, back in July, just over four years after the birth of their daughter Mia. Several months on and Bury-born Gemma has recently returned to her main job on Hits Radio where she co-hosts the drivetime slot from 4pm alongside Mike Toolan and with producer Matt.

Meanwhile, dancer Gorka is spending weeks away from home as he tours the country with his BBC co-stars in the Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals UK Tour.

READ MORE: BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Fleur East 'laughing' with husband after making baby admission

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But Gorka has had to face time away from home due to his job which has resulted in 'rough patch' rumours Gemma has previously rubbished. Asked how they get on with juggling both sides of their lives, Geamm exclusively told the Manchester Evening News: "I'm very fortunate that my mum and sister live really local and my mum and step-dad are retired and they've been amazing. It does take a village and thankfully my village is very close. But for me and Gorka, it's all we've ever known.

"When Mia was born, he had to go away when she was three days old but with Thiago, it was a lot easier... But I think we're just lucky, we have FactTime... We can't see him as often now because we have to do things around term time. When Mia was at nursery I could take her out for two or three days and go on the tour with him but that's not possible now. But it's just FaceTime and lots of phone calls really."

She added: "He's away now for about five weeks [on the Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals tour]. He'll have maybe four or five days in that time at home, maybe a bit less, but then he's off the whole of June and whole of July so we just try and balance it out really."

Gemma and Gorka met on Strictly in 2017 -Credit:PA
Gemma and Gorka met on Strictly in 2017 -Credit:PA

And Gemma and Mia will be there in the audience when he performs in Manchester at the Bridgewater Hall. "But again it's in the week so I will take Mia because she loves to watch him, but it's one of them where she's got school the next day. It'll be a late night for her but it's the small sacrifices that you make.

"She's hopefully going to want to watch him dance forever and ever but there might be a time when he says he's performing on a Saturday and she might turn around and say, 'Yeah but I wanna go out with the girls!' So we're trying to make the most of it while we can."

But it's fair to say Strictly is a family and Gemma and Gorka recently spent some time with one of the show's judges Anton Du Beke as they holidayed at the same time in Tenerife, Spain.

And the Strictly family is also growing with It Takes Two host and former pro Janette Manrara welcoming Lyra Rose into the world shortly after Thiago was born in July with her husband Aljaz Skorjanec, Neil Jones' fiancee Chyna Mills gave birth to their daughter, Havana, last October, while Janette's co-host Fleur East gave birth at the end of March to her daughter Nova and Oti Mabuse also welcomed a baby girl back in October.

"It's amazing the fact we are all still close," Gemma said. "With Strictly, it's that show on telly for all the family - for two/three-year-olds all the way up to - in Tenerife, we had a lady in her 80s who came over and said, 'Every Saturday when Strictly's on I'm like, "Do not talk to me, I'm watching Strictly!"' So it's a family-friendly show and for us, I always think of it as the countdown to Christmas!"

She added: "It's great that we're all friends. In Tenerife we were with Anton, Hannah [his wife] and their two children, they were in the same hotel as us so we had so much fun with them and outside of Strictly, they all check in with each other. Aljaz and Janette live half an hour away. So it's a massive extended family and in my opinion, obviously I'm biased, but it's the best show on telly in terms of feeling good and getting all the family around the TV with a takeaway. It's fabulous!"

Gemma and Gorka with their children alongside Janette and Aljaz with their daughter -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram
Gemma and Gorka with their children alongside Janette and Aljaz with their daughter -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram

Referencing all the babies being born, Gemma also quipped: "They need a creche. We need a Strictly creche so that on the Saturdays we can shove them all in there!" She added: "And it's lovely that Lyra [Janette and Aljaz's daughter] and Thiago and Mia will grow up together. They came round not long again and the amount of toys Lyra left at our house. She left her favourite giraffe and I've [told Janette], 'I need to get this giraffe back to you and Janette's like, 'Tell me about it, she needs her little giraffe back!' But it's great, especially because I dance with Aljaz and met Gorka through Aljaz so it's nice we're all still connected."

Gemma has previously said that two is the 'magic number' when it comes to her and Gorka's brood and it appears they're both still firm in their decision with Gemma, who has an older sister, Nina, herself, emotionally sharing why she wanted Mia to have a sibling.

"I've got a sister and Gorka's got a brother and I just know from being a child, I said to Gorka I have the most incredible relationship with Mia and we always say there's no secrets from your mum, you tell me everything," she shared. "It doesn't matter if you think you're in trouble, you still tell me. But I said there's going to be a time when there's stuff she doesn't want her mum or dad to know about and I know because I've been there.

"As close as you are, there's some stuff you don't want to tell them and I said I always wanted her to have someone she could tell and that'll be her brother, and vice versa. I just think for me, growing up with my sister, Nina's six years older than me but we had the best relationship and still do. She comes over once a week for her tea, we speak on the phone every day, I see her at the weekends, so I just always wanted Mia to have that person."

She added; "One day, hopefully a long, long way away, when things happen to me and Gorka, she'll have Thiago to help her through stuff. She won't be on her own. So I always, in my mind, was hoping for two babies. I didn't care if it was two boys, two girls, or one of each, I just always thought I'd love to have two babies and some point and now we've got them, got one of each, I've said that shop is well and truly shut."