Gemma Atkinson reveals poignant reason behind new project

It's a cause close to her family's heart

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Gemma Atkinson has revealed she’s filming a new documentary for the BBC, to help raise awareness of heart disease, after losing her own dad to the devastating illness when she was just 17.

In a heartfelt message, filmed on her Instagram account, the Hollyoaks actress, 33, told fans: “So, this afternoon I’m filming a documentary for the BBC. It’s only a little one that goes out on 10th June, and it’s all about heart disease.

“It’s for The British Heart Foundation, and obviously people know my dad passed away when I was 17 from heart disease, so it’s a charity really really close to my heart and I’m really honoured to have been asked to take part in this documentary.”

Gemma added that it was important for her to raise awareness, so that others wouldn’t have to suffer in the way that her own family have.

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“Hopefully we’re going to raise lots of awareness so that other families don’t have to go through what me and my sister, and ours went through.

“So I’ll keep you tuned as it comes along, but it’s on the 10th June on BBC One.”

Gemma’s followers were quick to compliment the former Strictly contestant on her ‘personal’ and ‘down-to-earth’ posts on social media.

One fan wrote, “Good on you Gemma. I have been a follower since Strictly and am in awe of how lovely and down-to-earth you are. Your Instagram is so personal and I feel blessed you share so much.”

Fans praised Gemma for being ‘sharing so much’ (Credit: Instagram @glouiseatkinson)

Another follower, whose life has also been affected by the disease added: “This brought tears to my eyes. I lost my dad to heart disease when I was 12, so this is extremely close to me as well, so I will be watching.”

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Other praised her for supporting a great cause and called the star ‘an inspiration’.

Gemma has previously revealed that the loss of her dad David, at the age of 52, prompted her into making health and fitness a huge part of her life.

She now trains six days a week to stay in shape, and also supports several charities, including Sport Relief and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Keep up the good work, Gemma!

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