Strictly: Katie Piper and Gorka Marquez perform the jive
Gorka Marquez was partnered by acid attack survivor and activist Katie Piper on Strictly Come Dancing back in 2018 – and now she’s revealed she’s rooting for him, as fans fear for his future.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Katie spoke of her love for the show, which felt like one big “family” to her in the days when she was a contestant – and said she’d love to see the 33-year-old Spaniard succeed.
“We love Strictly in our house [and] we’ve been glued to the telly for the dance, but also for the outfits. We love all the glam, the sequins,” she enthused.
“I’m always supporting Gorka because he was my partner when I was in the show – really great to see him dancing again!”
However, fans are becoming increasingly concerned in case his days on the show are numbered, after he and Nikita found themselves fighting for survival in the bottom two last week.
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Eventually Les Dennis and his pro partner Nancy Xu were announced as the duo that wouldn’t be making it through to the next round, and a relieved Gorka and Nikita were saved.
The dancer is accustomed to success, having reached the final three times during his career – with Alexandra Burke in 2017, with Maisie Smith in 2020 and then a third time with Helen Skelton in 2022.
Becoming part of the dance-off at such an early stage isn’t something that he usually experiences – but in week one, he and Nikita were second from the bottom on the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, on week two, Nikita was told her steps were “much improved”, but still ended up with a combined score of just 36 out of 80.
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Gorka, who has recently become dad to a baby son with his partner Gemma Atkinson, had been fiercely ambitious for the Glitterball trophy in the past.
However, he shunned Strictly’s live tour this year, sparking fears that he may be reaching the end of his career with the BBC show.
“Weak, weak, weak!” one Twitter follower exclaimed, adding: “Poor Gorka will leave early as Nikita wasn’t good at all”, while a second lamented: “We cannot lose Gorka so soon!!!”
In her interview with Express.co.uk, Katie mused: “It’s unfortunate someone has to go, don’t they? I’ve been there myself and it actually really is a big family, like they say.
“You’ve been together for so long off camera before week one’s been shown to the public, that you do all become close.
“I think everybody knows someone’s got to go, but it doesn’t stop it being kind of sad for everyone that’s part of the show.”
Katie says she’ll be tuning in every Saturday without fail, while Gorka and Nikita are set to dance for the public again this Saturday at 6:20pm on BBC One.
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