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Gorka Marquez issues three-word response as he finally addresses BBC Strictly quit claims

Gorka Marquez has finally addressed claims he is set to quit Strictly Come Dancing after not lifting the Glitterball trophy earlier this month. The dancer’s fiancee Gemma Atkinson had already flatly denied the rumours as they began to swirl shortly after the final of the BBC One dance contest on December 17.

Viewers of the hit show flocked to social media after spotting Gorka’s ‘gutted’ reaction to missing out on the Strictly 2022 title with celebrity dance partner Helen Skelton. The pair went head-to-head with Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu, Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystał, and Fleur East and Vito Coppola in the final round of the hit dance show.

Each of the four couples had to perform three routines in a bid to impress viewers and be crowned the latest Strictly champions and it following a public vote, it was Hamza and Jowita who emerged victorious and lifted the coveted Glitterball trophy. But some fans claimed Gorka and Helen had been ‘robbed’ from the title.

READ MORE: Helen Skelton shares ‘magical’ Christmas moment with sons as she reunites with BBC Strictly co-star

And it was soon suggested that after making it to three finals since joining the show in 2016, Gorka, 32, was set to leave Strictly after seven series. Gemma took to Instagram to share one of the reports with talk of his departure, saying: “Keep being sent this.” And she added with a cheeky-face emoji: “Wish I hadn’t said to all backstage crew ‘see you next year’ now.”

She added: “Obv this isn’t true at all! Same as it wasn’t true about Gio last year. Merry Christmas!” Gorka, 32, whose previous celeb dance partners include Alexandra Burke, Katie Piper and Maisie Smith, previously appeared to confirm after coming runner-up that he would be back for Strictly 2023.

But he has now appeared to have teased his return for next year’s series again as he responded to a fan. On a recent post on Instagram, Gorka shared a selfie of himself alongside Gemma, 38, and their daughter Mia as they headed off back to his home city in Spain after Christmas.

As one fan said they “couldn’t believe” he had “left Strictly”, Gorka responded: “Don’t believe it!” with a winking emoji. It is the first time he has directly addressed claims he was to leave.

He did, however, previously appear to confirm his return. “Oh… Where to start, It’s has been an incredible journey,” he wrote on his Instagram alongisde a string of images of himself and Helen during their 13-week journey on the show. “I feel so grateful I got not only to dance with you @helenskelton but also to be by your side in your own personal journey and see your transformation from day one.

“Thank you for all the memories, laughs, coffees, toast, parent chats, car journeys. Like I said yesterday In the show you’re a special person who light up a room when walks in and I am so proud you got to smile and shine again. I’ve loved every single moment dancing with you and I am so proud of us until the last dance! You’re a star.”

And he added to the 2022 champions: “Big congratulations!! to the @bbcstrictly champions @jowitaprzystal @hamzayassin90 you guys have been amazing the whole series and deserve it. Congrats to the other couples in the Final @vitocoppola @fleureast @gkx_carlos @mollyrainford it has been a pleasure to share the floor with you guys.”

Gorka then finished his post: “And to all of you guys! The biggest THANK YOU, because without you we wouldn’t be here and your lovely messages of support means the world. Strictly 23 lets go!!! In the mean time Keep dancing!!”

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