Gemma Atkinson: Emmerdale star reveals why she originally refused Strictly Come Dancing | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Gemma Atkinson, who has previously starred in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, has spoken out about how she nearly didn’t take part in Strictly Come Dancing last year.

The actress, who reached the final of the fifteenth series of the BBC show, danced with Strictly professional Aljaž Skorjanec in the show.

But, it appears that the former glamour model originally refused to take part in the hit ballroom competition.

Revealing that she had reservations about the “pressure” that would come with starring in the show, the 33-year-old explained that she initially insisted that she didn’t want the job.

“I was humming and aching, and I told my agent I didn’t want to do it. My job on the radio is great because it’s near my home, I love it and I’m not ‘out there’ as much,” Gemma told The Sun’s Fabulous Magazine.

“I’d got used to the lifestyle where I wasn’t in the public eye as much, and I’d got really comfortable.

“I didn’t know if I wanted 15 million people to know who I was – I didn’t want the intrusion or the pressure of it.”

The radio presenter went on to reveal that she had gone abroad with her mum after her agent told her to think about the idea.

Explaining her sudden change of heart, Gemma revealed that a strange coincidence led her to reconsider her ideas.

“There was an Oprah Winfrey book in my room, and on the first page I opened there was a passage that read: ‘When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”

Convinced that the book was a sign that she should take part in the show, the Bury-born star admitted that she’d immediately called her agent.

Gemma, who met her now-boyfriend Gorka Marquez during the show, also opened up about when the couple first got together.

Confessing that she had been too busy to think about a relationship, the actress revealed that the pair gradually struck up a romance.

She told the publication: “I couldn’t have contemplated a relationship while the show was on, it was just too stressful.”

It came shortly after Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden spoke out about Gemma and Gorka in an exclusive interview with

Discussing the duo’s blossoming romance, he said: “They’re a great couple – and imagine the kids! They’d be the best looking kids ever.”

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