Helen Skelton addresses having ‘face like thunder’ on Strictly when Gorka Marquez discussed marriage breakdown

The Countryfile presenter was left with a face ‘like thunder’ during her dance partner’s comments  (BBC)
The Countryfile presenter was left with a face ‘like thunder’ during her dance partner’s comments (BBC)

Helen Skelton has addressed an awkward Strictly moment that saw her left with a face “like thunder” as dance partner Gorka Marquez made comments about the fall-out of her marriage breakdown.

In a new interview with The Sun, the Countryfile presenter said: “Maybe we need to talk about what he’s allowed to say publicly...”

Skelton hit the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor shortly after the end of her eight-year marriage to ex-husband rugby player Richie Myler, with whom she has three young children.

Myler is now expecting a child with his new partner.

Skelton, 39, told The Sun she entered Strictly “battle-hardened” by her recent break-up, but said the show has helped get her through the difficult time.

“Strictly is probably quite overwhelming for a lot of people but for me, weirdly, I was actually in the best place to be in it,” she said.

“It’s the most brilliant, all-consuming thing to be a part of.”

But last month, images of Skelton’s thunderous-looking face went viral on social media, as she reacted to an impromptu speech made by her dance partner Gorka during an episode broadcast on October 15.

 (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
(Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Placing an arm around her, Gorka acknowledged she has “been having a difficult time” and “you may feel like you’re not beautiful or good enough or anything”.

“But if you don’t believe in yourself, I believe in you,” he went on. “Everybody here believes in you.

“It’s only you who is going to be the one who can make the change and the one who needs to believe in you, because you are an amazing woman, very inspirational. An amazing mum and incredible dancer, so believe in you, please.”

While some were quick to praise the “supportive” speech - which was met with applause in the studio - others branded it “patronising”, while it left Skelton staring at Gorka with a “face like thunder”.

But Skelton has now told The Sun the dance partners remain “very good friends”, although she feels they need a conversation about what information he is allowed to divulge to the public.

The former Blue Peter presenter told the publication: “What I love about Gorka is that he has my very best interests at heart, and we are genuinely very good friends.

“But sometimes, maybe, we need to talk about what he’s allowed to say publicly...

“I was like, ‘Oh God, where is he going with this?’

“But Gorka has the measure of me. He brings me a coffee and a pastry every morning because I’m losing so much weight, training constantly and doing the show.

“He writes on the coffee cup, ‘You’re brilliant, you’ve got this’, because he knows I’d be mortified and embarrassed if he did it to my face.”