STRICTLY Come Dancing star Neil Jones has broken his silence on the rumours that Gorka Marquez is quitting the show after this series.
Gorka, 33, hasn’t been able to spend much time with his and Gemma Atkinson’s newborn son because of Strictly’s gruelling schedule, and he recently admitted he nearly didn’t return for the 2023 edition as a result.
And the star, who is partnered with BBC Asian Network's Breakfast Show presenter Nikita Kanda, has since been plagued with rumours that he’ll leave the dance show for good after this series.
Writing on Reddit, one said: "Anyone else have a feeling that Gorka will call it a day after this series if he’s out early doors with Nikita?"
But his fellow pro Neil Jones, 41, has waded in on the speculation and shared his thoughts on Gorka leaving the show for good.
He told The Sun while at a Shakeup cosmetics brand event on Thursday: “No, I doubt that’s the case. I really doubt it.
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“But I think it’s one of those things where I’m always shocked when I see someone hasn’t come back to the show, and I think ‘why? why?’
“Even Oti, I’m so close with Oti and I was like ‘you didn’t tell me you weren’t coming back.’”
Neil said he’d like to be on the show for as long as he can, and keep doing it until he’s old.
Gorka’s fiancee Gemma recently said she hadn’t seen him in four weeks, due to the intensive Strictly schedule.
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Podcast host Gemma admitted she was looking forward to the weekend when they will finally be reunited as they both attend an award show.
She said: “It's dawned on me, the Pride of Britain is on Sunday, it's gonna be my first night out and my first night away since Thiago was born – he'll be 12 weeks. I know it has to happen but it's quite sad."
The star added: "I will be seeing Gorka, though, for the first time in four weeks, which will be nice.
"Should be good and I'll get a full night's sleep, which'll be even better! First full night's sleep in 12 weeks as well."
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