Gorka Marquez has revealed he considered quitting Strictly Come Dancing prior to this year’s series.
The Spanish professional dancer has been part of the BBC ballroom show since 2016, during which time he has been paired with the likes of Alexandra Burke, Maisie Smith and Helen Skelton.
However, Gorka has admitted that having to leave his young family and their home in Manchester to do the show near London had him think twice about doing another series.
Speaking in his and partner Gemma Atkinson’s W reality show Gemma And Gorka: Life Behind The Lens, he explained that rehearsals for this year’s series were due to start just after the arrival of son Thiago, who was born back in July.
He said (via Manchester Evening News): “It’s quite heart-breaking, you know, to have to leave again a few days after Gemma gives birth and not be at home.
“In my head, it makes me think I want to quit and just be at home for the next three months, but at the same time, I need to do my job and work.”
Gemma Atkinson and Gorka pictured in 2019
Gemma – who appeared on the 2017 series of Strictly as a contestant – recently spoke about how Gorka had only been able to spend a limited amount of time with Thiago since he was born.
During an appearan on Steph’s Packed Lunch earlier this month, she said: “He’s home at the weekend but once the show starts, depending on where his partner is, he’ll have to go [off again].
“When he was born, [Gorka] had a week at home with him and since then he’s had three weekends with him, and that’s it.”
Gemma and Gorka have been together for nearly six years, and announced their engagement in 2021.
The couple are also parents to their four-year-old daughter, Mia.
On Saturday, it was revealed Gorka has been paired up with BBC Asian Network presenter Nikita Kanda for this year’s series of Strictly.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.15pm on BBC One.