Gemma Atkinson thinks late dad would “love” boyfriend Gorka Marquez

Gemma was just 17 years old when she lost her father

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Gemma Atkinson has said she thinks her late father would have loved her boyfriend, Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez.

The former Emmerdale actress, who is also a breakfast presenter on Manchester-based Hits Radio, confirmed her romance with Gorka on Valentine’s Day this year on Instagram.

She told mental health and well-being magazine, Happiful: “I think he’d love him. He’d say he’s a gentleman. Everyone who’s met Gorka says that.”

The 33-year-old’s father, David, died from a heart attack when she was 17.

Read more: Gemma Atkinson becomes patron of Grief Encounter

She told Happiful: “It hit me that life’s too short. Dad was 52 and very healthy. He never smoked and only drank every few weeks – there was nothing wrong with him.

“Since then, I’ve wanted to take care of myself as best I can, and that’s why I always drill that health is more important than what you look like.”

Gemma competed in Strictly last year and reached the final of the BBC One dancing series with her dance partner, Aljaz Skorjanec.

She is also a patron of Grief Encounter, the charity which helps bereaved families and children.

The ex-Hollyoaks actress announced her role with Grief Encounter last week, saying she was “happy” to be lending her support to the organisation.

Gemma said: “I wanted to work with this charity because my dad died suddenly when I was only 17 years old. I know how heartbreaking and confusing grief is to navigate as a child because I’ve been through it.

“The work that Grief Encounter do to support children of all ages after they lose a parent or a sibling is SO important. I feel passionately about all children having the right support to process their grief at such a difficult time.”

Gemma features on the August cover of Happiful magazine.

Over the weekend, romantic Gorka treated Gemma to a surprise holiday in Ibiza.

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She told fans Gorka told her to keep the weekend free as he had a treat, and they ended up flying abroad for two days of sun, swimming, cycling and hiking.

Her fans were quick to brand Gorka a “keeper” with one saying: “Perfect man if only we all had one x.”

What’s the most romantic thing your other half has ever done for you? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know!

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