'I've been single for ages... it would be a blessing!' Gemma Atkinson reveals she's hoping to find love on Strictly Come Dancing as she counts down to anticipated debut
Over the years, stars who have competed on Strictly Come Dancing have often seen their love lives go south, with breakups announced soon afterwards.
But as Gemma Atkinson, 32, prepares to make her debut on the latest season of the hit BBC show on Saturday night, she's shrugging off the 'Strictly curse' as she reveals she's open to finding love in the very ballroom where she'll be strutting her stuff.
The former Emmerdale beauty - whose past loves include footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Darren Bent - told The Sun: 'I’ve been single for ages so there wouldn’t be any curse for me. It would be a blessing.'
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Seeking love: Gemma Atkinson has revealed that she's open to finding a new boyfriend as she competes on the new season of Strictly Come Dancing, which is set to debut on Saturday night
However, the erstwhile glamour model has admitted that she has found it awkward getting up and close and personal with her professional dance partner - whose identity will be revealed on Saturday night - as they practice their sultry routines.The Bury native explained: 'Being forced to be face-to-face with someone you’ve just met is mortifying. It sounds all lovely.
'But it’s like doing a scene with one of your mates at Emmerdale. On camera it looks good, but when you’re in it and doing it, it’s awkward.'
Scared: Gemma (pictured above with Brian Conley) revealed her nerves stem from doing live theatre which she later had to stop doing, as she struggled to overcome her worries
Gemma's imminent debut on Strictly comes days after she revealed that she almost turned down the opportunity to compete on the ratings juggernaut, as she has been crippled with stage fright.
Gemma told Daily Star Sunday: 'I almost turned it down... I was worried about Strictly throwing me back into the spotlight and I was scared of performing live on TV each week in front of 12million people.'
While Gemma is already used to being watched onscreen, thanks to her soap appearances in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, she claimed that she was forced to stop doing live theatre, as she struggled to overcome her battle with nerves.
Unsure: The Emmerdale star confessed she was reluctant to agree to take part and had left show bosses waiting for two weeks, before she eventually said yes
Worried that she could face similar issues while on Strictly, a defiant Gemma added that she will 'just have to get over' her concerns when it comes to her performances.
She revealed that it had been her mother that had persuaded her to sign up for Strictly, insisting the starlet would have been 'silly' to say no.
Spurred on by her mum's advice, Gemma said: 'I always think it is better to do something and it go wrong than regret not doing something and never knowing - so I said yes.'
Gemma has since found herself one of the favourites on this year's series and is said to have hired a team of personal trainers to get her into pristine shape ahead of Strictly.
Persuaded: The blonde beauty revealed that it had been her mother that had persuaded her to sign up for Strictly, insisting the starlet would have been 'silly' to say no
'Training for Strictly never stops': Gemma showed off her twerking skills in a bikini top and shorts in an Instagram video as she enjoys a holiday in Ibiza ahead of programme launch
And as she prepares to make her Strictly debut, the blonde beauty told fans that the 'training never stops' as she shared a video of herself showcasing her dance moves during a recent getaway to Ibiza.
Showcasing her incredible body while holidaying in the Spanish paradise resort, the star gave her best booty shake in a denim hot pants bikini ensemble.
Sporting a pair of oversized shades, the star wore her blonde locks high on her head in a braided ponytail which bounced along as she gyrated for the camera.
The stunning actress is expected to be a fan favourite this year with bookies dubbing her to be one of the strongest contestants from the outset when the show returns on Saturday.
Looking good: The stunning former Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actress took to Instagram to channel her inner Miley Cyrus by booty shaking in a ten second clip
And it seems Gemma is so geared up the the Strictly return that she decided to overhaul her diet in a bid to shed a few extra pounds before her dance training even begins.
'I won't be drinking in the evenings now I'm doing Strictly. It'll be very rare for me to have a vodka now,' she confessed.
Gemma has worked hard to tone up with a 12-week fitness and diet regime and is already in peak physical condition.
She said: 'I love feeling strong and athletic, and that's how training with weights makes me feel.'
Feeling good: Gemma has worked hard to tone up with a 12-week fitness and diet regime and is already in peak physical condition
No drinking: The star revealed she wouldn't be touching a tipple during the show in order to perform at her peak each week
Already looking the part when it comes to Strictly, Gemma stole the show as she dazzled in her racy ensemble among the whole host of stars in the BBC program's official photo shoot last month.
Embracing the show's art for lavish costumes, the Hollyoaks actress courted attention with her svelte figure as she took the splash in the tiny sequin dress when she posed alongside Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins.
Drawing attention to her legs, Gemma was clad in a black and gold glittering dress that boasted tassels along its hemline.
She slipped two gold bangles onto her wrist and her tresses were styled into soft glamorous curls that fell past her shoulders while styled in a central parting.
Booty shake: Gemma whipped her hair back and forth while gyrating her hips seductively
Gemma sported an immaculate make-up look and appeared to be having a ball as she joined her co-stars for the shoot, throwing her hands up in delight in one shot.
Meanwhile, news anchor Charlotte caught the eye in a shimmery number during that complemented Gemma's, while Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu looked sensational as she donned a form-fitting glittery gown.
Ruth Langsford also took to the floor in a racy black number while Mollie King showcased her charming good looks and sensational style in an eye-wateringly short frock to match that of Gemma's.
The Saturdays' pop singer couldn't contain her excitement to be on the show and was seen beaming from ear-to-ear as she larked about with her fellow celebrities.
Truly dazzling: Gemma Atkinson (L) stole the show as she dazzled in her racy ensemble among the whole host of stars (pictured with Charlotte Hawkins and Chizzy Akudolu)
In it to win it: Gemma threw arms up in the air as she posed with (L-R) Aston Merrygold, Brian Conley, Johnnie Peacock and Chizzy Akudolu - part of the star-studded line-up for the show
Others among the lineup include Aston Merrygold, Alexandra Burke, Brian Conley, Simon Rimmer, Susan Calman, Joe McFadden, Debbie McGee, Reverend Richard Coles, Paralympian Jonnie Peacock and EastEnders' star Davood Ghadami.
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will be returning as hosts of the beloved show and it will be the first series to air without Len Goodman, following his decision to quit last year.
Latin and Ballroom champion Shirley Ballas has been drafted in to replace head judge Len.
Strictly Come Dancing 2017 is set to kick off on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.
Glamorous: Debbie McGee and Mollie King looked sensational as they posed with (L-R) Davood Ghadami, Reverend Richard Coles, Simon Rimmer and Joe McFadden
Sensational: Ruth Langsford also took to the floor in a racy black number which drew attention to her cleavage as she hugged (L-R) Brian Conley, Aston Merrygold and Jonnie Peacock
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4868186/Gemma-Atkinson-reveals-s-looking-love-Strictly.html#ixzz4sEKolna8
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