Strictly Come Dancing: Helen Skelton proud ahead of ‘milestone’ performance with Gorka Marquez in Blackpool
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The former Blue Peter presenter, 39, from Cumbria, and her dance partner Gorka Marquez, 32, are set to perform the Quickstep to Mark Ronson’s Valerie in the magical Blackpool Tower Ballroom this Saturday.
Having spent a lot of time in Blackpool with her family, Helen said getting to this stage of Strictly Come Dancing is a “big milestone”.
The mother-of-three said: “I think Blackpool has always been a milestone. I’m from the North West, so all of my family, every year my family went to Blackpool for a long weekend for the illuminations… so I think, for me, this was always like a big milestone.”
Gorka, who has been a professional Strictly dancer for six series, added: “Blackpool is a very remarkable place for dancing. I always said it’s like the Wimbledon of dance, and when it comes to Strictly, Blackpool is in the DNA of Strictly.”
Helen previously told It Takes Two host Rylan Clarke, that her children will be in Blackpool for the show. Gorka’s fiancé Gemma Atkinson and their daughter Mia will also be attending.
When asked about the compeition, Helen said: “You just have to take it week by week, because everybody is so good.
“And you can’t really think about anything other than what you’ve got to do that week, which is a nice place to be, because I think it’d be too stressful… we’re just taking it week by week, enjoying it, having a good time.
“Trying to get better each week and thankfully people have very kindly kept us in so far. So hopefully it’ll keep going that way.”
Agreeing that the competition is very tough this year, Gorka added: “I think every week that we make it through is a celebration, it’s a very tough competition this year.
“And we are just very grateful that the audience support us and help us get through, because without them we wouldn’t be in this point of the competition.”
Helen and Gorka received a score of 32 out of 40 from the judges last week. All of the judges scored the couple an eight, after their energetic Salsa to Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber.
Sunday night’s results show saw former England footballer Tony Adams - who Helen previously described as her biggest competiton whilst on The One Show - forced to withdraw from Strictly after picking up a hamstring injury.
Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly, annouced the news instead of the dance-off which Tony was supposed to compete in against radio DJ Tyler West.
She said: “Due to an injury sustained on Saturday night, Tony is unable to take part in the dance-off and has decided to withdraw from the competition. This means there will be no dance-off tonight and Tyler (West) and Dianne (Buswell) are through to Blackpool.”