GORKA Marquez has revealed he’s been demoted from the main line-up on this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing, having to settle as a backing dancer.
What’s worse, according to Gorka, it wasn’t even his choice – so what caused him to be axed from his position and what has he said about it?
Why was Gorka axed from Strictly?
On August 21, Gorka confirmed that he will not be returning to the upcoming series as a professional dancer, subsequently meaning he won’t be given a celebrity partner.
Instead, he will be included as a backing dance, and fans have been trying to figure out what caused his sudden demotion.
One fan, in particular, was quick to assume that, since recently welcoming his baby daughter Mia, Gorka would have wanted some time off to focus on his family.
But apparently that wasn’t the case at all.
Under his recent Instagram post, the Instagram user commented: “Nooo, why?? You are brilliant?? I hope it’s your choice so you can spend more time with baby and mum”.
Gorka replied with the shrugging emoji, adding: “Not really, LOL. But I will”.
News of the dancer’s demotion comes just one week after it was reported that the father-of-one had fallen out with fellow Strictly colleague Kevin Cliffton for snubbing his dismiss.
Graziano Di Prima, who was also axed from the new series, received supportive messages from Kevin, which Gorka hadn’t received on Instagram, leading fans to believe there was an issue between the two.
“Mate, my sister was the same in her second series”, he wrote under Graziano’s post.
“In her third series she won! You’re one of the best dancers I know so get ready to OWN 2020!”
He also added a heart emoji.
When was Gorka Marquez’s baby born?
Gorka and Gemma welcomed their baby girl into the world on July, 4, 2019.
The proud parents posted a snap of their daughter on Instagram two weeks after her birth and revealed their daughter’s name is Mia Louise Marquez.
The cute snap shows ‘Mini Marquez’ – as she’s been affectionately nicknamed – quietly snoozing in her crib while wearing a cosy pink knitted jumper and some white sock on her feet.
The couple also shared a picture from the hospital just two hours after their daughter’s birth – although did not want to post any baby pictures before their family and friends had met her first.
To announce their happy news, Gorka, 28, shared the last picture taken of him and Gemma before welcoming their daughter into the world on July 4.
The couple revealed they were expecting their first baby on February 1, 2019.
Gorka announced the happy news on Instagram with a picture of his dogs Norm and Ollie.
One dog wore a sign reading “Guess what…mum’s pregnant” while the other wore one which said: “We’re going to be big brothers!”
Are Gorka Marquez and Gemma Atkinson engaged?
As far as we know, Gorka has not yet popped the question to Gemma.
However, the smitten pair did spark rumours about their engagement after Gemma was spotted flashing a huge diamond ring on her hand.
The former Emmerdale actress sent fans into a frenzy after sharing a snap of the sparkling rock.
However, a representative of Gemma denied the claims she was engaged to The Mirror.
When did Gorka Marquez join Strictly and who has he danced with?
Strictly Come Dancing was Gorka’s first major TV appearance.
He joined the show in 2016 and was paired with EastEnders actress Tameka Empson.
He and Tameka became the second couple to leave the show after they were eliminated in the third week but two weeks later Gorka was brought back to the show to dance with singer Anastacia after her partner Brendan Cole fell ill.
He and Anastacia were eliminated in week six but Gorka continued to appear in the group dances.
In 2017 Gorka was partnered with Alexandra Burke.
Then in 2018, his dance partner was Katie Piper.
Gorka began dancing at the age of 12 and within a few years, he was picked to represent Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010.
Two years later he reached the semi-finals of the World Dance Sport Federation World Cup.
In 2014, Gorka joined the acclaimed Latin and ballroom dance troupe Burn the Floor, an international dancing phenomenon that was formed in 1995.
What other TV shows has Gorka Marquez been on?
Earlier this year, Gorka was due to appear on All New Monty: Who Bares Wins.
However, The Sun exclusively revealed that he had to pull out of the show due to a back injury.
He was replaced by Dancing on Ice star Matt Evers.
Gorka was set to strip off on the show in order to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancer.
He was joined by Love Island winner Jack Fincham, Emmerdale actor Kevin Fletcher and snooker ace Willie Thorne among others.
The show was followed by a women’s version led by Victoria Derbyshire and Coleen Nolan.
Both specials saw our favourite celebs bare all to highlight the importance of checking intimate body areas for signs of cancer.
When was Gorka assaulted?
Gorka was set upon by a gang of youths just hours after he appeared on the live Blackpool week of Strictly 2016.
He had two teeth smashed out in the assault, which took place as he walked to a nightclub with friends and fellow Strictly professional dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and Neil Jones.
He had to undergo emergency dental surgery.
Ever the professional, he returned to the show in order to perform in the group routines for the rest of the series.
More on Strictly…
What time does Strictly Come Dancing 2019 start?
Strictly Come Dancing is returning for its 17th series on BBC One TONIGHT (Saturday, September 7, 2019).
We’ll find out which pro dancers and celebrities are paired up, then the couples will have two weeks to get ready for the first live show.
The live shows will start on Saturday, September 21, and the final will take place on Saturday, December 14.
The main show will air live on Saturday evenings with the results the following day on Sundays.