Strictly dancer’s teeth broken in Blackpool attack
Strictly Come Dancing professional Gorka Marquez has been assaulted in the street after filming the show’s annual special in Blackpool. The 26-year-old dancer is reported to have been attacked by a group of youths on Saturday as he walked to a nightclub with colleagues from the BBC series. He is undergoing dental surgery after two of his front teeth in his lower jaw were badly chipped. The BBC said Marquez had been “sadly the victim of an unprovoked incident”. A spokesman added: “He will be back in training this week and is looking forward to the group routine next weekend.” The Spanish dancer made his Strictly debut in this year’s series and had been partnering EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, who plays Kim Fox in the BBC soap. The pair were eliminated in the second round but Marquez has continued to appear in the programme as part of the weekly group routines. Marquez also stepped in to dance with singer Anastacia in week five when her partner Brendan Cole was ill. According to the The Sun, which broke news of the attack, Marquez was with fellow professional dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and Neil Jones when he was assaulted. The paper said they had been walking to the Flamingo nightclub near Blackpool Tower when a group of youths approached them. It added that Marquez had not been drinking and had not made any contact with the gang before the assault, which was not reported to police. Speaking about the attack on Twitter, Strictly contestant Ore Oduba said: “Are people for real? Sending the best to our guy @GorkaMarquez1.” Marquez represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010 and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) World Cup, according to his biography on the BBC website. In 2014, he joined dance show Burn The Floor as one of the leads and has toured the world. This weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing saw British track and field athlete Greg Rutherford voted off the show. In addition to Oduba, the remaining celebrities in this year’s series are Claudia Fragapane, Danny Mac, Ed Balls, Judge Rinder and Louise Redknapp. Marquez is due to partner The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge in the show’s Christmas special.