Entertainment & Arts

Strictly dancer Gorka Marquez 'feeling better' after assault

Gorka Marquez Image copyright PA
Image caption Gorka Marquez said he was looking forward to next Saturday's show

Strictly Come Dancing pro Gorka Marquez has told fans he is "feeling better" after being assaulted in Blackpool.

The 26-year-old had to undergo dental surgery after two of his front teeth in his lower jaw were badly chipped.

Lancashire Police has contacted the BBC to "establish the details of the incident" so it can be investigated.

Marquez was reportedly walking to a nightclub with other Strictly dancers on Saturday when he was attacked following filming in the seaside town.

'Bad experience'

The incident, said to have involved a gang of youths, has not been reported to the police.

Marquez tweeted: "Thanks for all your kind messages and support about Blackpool.

"It was a bad experience but I'm feeling better and just want to look forward to the show on Saturday!"

The BBC said the Spanish dancer had been "sadly the victim of an unprovoked incident".

A spokesman added: "He will be back in training this week and is looking forward to the group routine next weekend."

Marquez made his Strictly debut in this year's series and had been partnering EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, who plays Kim Fox in the BBC soap.

The pair were eliminated in the second round but Marquez has continued to appear in the programme as part of the weekly group routines - including one featured on Saturday night's live show.

Strictly's annual special filmed in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is seen by celebrity contestants and the professional dancers alike as one of the highlights of the series.

Image caption Marquez partnered EastEnders star Tameka Empson

Marquez also stepped in to dance with singer Anastacia in week five when her partner Brendan Cole was ill.

According to the The Sun, Marquez was with fellow professional dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and Neil Jones when he was assaulted.

The newspaper said they had been walking to the Flamingo nightclub near Blackpool Tower when a group of youths approached them.

It added that Marquez had not been drinking and had not made any contact with the gang before the assault.

Speaking about the attack on Twitter, Strictly contestant Ore Oduba said: "Are people for real? Sending the best to our guy @GorkaMarquez1."

Image caption Greg Rutherford was voted out of Strictly Come Dancing this weekend

Marquez represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010 and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) World Cup, according to his biography on the BBC website.

In 2014, he joined dance show Burn The Floor as one of the leads and has toured the world.

This weekend's Strictly Come Dancing saw British track and field athlete Greg Rutherford voted off the show.

In addition to Oduba, the remaining celebrities in this year's series are Claudia Fragapane, Danny Mac, Ed Balls, Judge Rinder and Louise Redknapp.

Marquez is due to partner The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge in the show's Christmas special.

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