We’re No.1 for telly ++ WE BEAT

Gem holds no fear of los­ing man

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by ED GLEAVE ed­ward.gleave@dai­lystar.co.uk

GEMMA Atkinson says there is no chance the Strictly curse will hit her re­la­tion­ship with Gorka Marquez.

The ac­tress, 33, will watch him per­form­ing up close with TV host Katie Piper in the new se­ries.

But she is not wor­ried about them be­ing the lat­est pair­ing to fall for each other back­stage.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, Gemma said: “Katie has a hus­band but even if she was sin­gle, it wouldn’t be an is­sue that Gorka is danc­ing with her.

“I trust him 100% and it is his job to teach some­one else to dance.

“He could be part­nered with Miss Uni­verse and I’d still trust him be­cause we’ve got some­thing so amaz­ing.

“But I know with or with­out ru­mours of the curse, Katie and Gorka are still go­ing to be ner­vous.”

The Strictly curse has ru­ined a string of mar­riages over the years.

Singer Louise Red­knapp, 43, pre­sen­ter Rachel Ri­ley, 32, and ex-rugby ace Ben Co­hen, 40, all got di­vorced af­ter tak­ing part. Mean­while, for­mer boxer Joe Calza­ghe, 46, model Daisy Lowe, 29, and ac­tress Ge­or­gia May Foote, 27, also ended re­la­tion­ships while on the show.

Gemma formed a close bond with Span­ish hunk Gorka dur­ing her stint as a con­tes­tant last year.

She added: “Dur­ing my time on Strictly I had friend­ships. But I was so ner­vous I didn’t have a con­nec­tion with any­one in that way.

“Me and Gorka didn’t re­ally have a con­nec­tion when I was on Strictly. We just had a friend­ship.

“Then we spent Christ­mas to­gether and in Fe­bru­ary we said, ‘Let’s make some­thing’ and it was then we had that con­nec­tion.”

Gemma plans to be in Strictly’s stu­dio au­di­ence for the live shows, which start next week­end.

And the for­mer soap star can’t wait to see her man and Katie per­form­ing.

Gemma said: “I think they’re go­ing to be great to­gether. I know Gorka is thrilled to be danc­ing with Katie.”

Gemma be­came one of TV’s hottest ac­tresses on shows in­clud­ing Hollyoaks, Ca­su­alty and Emmerdale. But since Strictly she has fo­cused on her ra­dio ca­reer as a host on Manch­ester sta­tion Hits Ra­dio.

She added: “I don’t have any plans to do more act­ing. I’m en­joy­ing the ra­dio show.”

BRUNO

To­nioli says he won’t care if The X Fac­tor beats Strictly in the rat­ings war. He added: “Sharon Os­bourne is very pop­u­lar and she is great fun. “You can’t un­der­es­ti­mate X Fac­tor. All I want is for ev­ery­one to be happy.” And he doesn’t care if Si­mon Cow­ell crit­i­cises Strictly, say­ing: “He al­ways tries to cre­ate con­tro­versy.”

The new Strictly line-up has been branded “Z-list” by some fans. But Bruno is con­fi­dent it will be a suc­cess. He added: “The show will de­liver this year.”

■ SHOCK: Love rat Im­ran’s been found out by the sis­ters ■ SWEET: The girls plot re­venge with a saucy of­fer to Im­ran

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