Monday 23 October 2017

Gemma Atkinson signs for Strictly and admits: ‘I think I’m Britney on the dancefloor after a few drinks’

The 5ft 9in actress hopes she gets paired up with a “tall and strong” professional dance partner on the new BBC1 series.

Gemma Atkinson is hoping for a big, strong lad to partner her on the show (Matt Crossick/PA)
Gemma Atkinson is hoping for a big, strong lad to partner her on the show (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Statuesque Emmerdale star Gemma Atkinson has revealed she fears being dropped by her Strictly Come Dancing partner because of her height.

The 5ft 9in actress, who became the fourth name confirmed for the ballroom dancing show, hopes she is paired up with a “tall and strong” pro on the new BBC1 series.

Atkinson, 32, who played Carly Hope on the ITV soap, said spray tans, heels and sparkly dresses were out of her comfort zone.

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Emmerdale star Gemma Atkinson has confirmed she will appear on the hit dance contest (Matt Crossick/PA)

“I did disco dancing from age nine to 10 but it was kind of like cartwheels across the floor, cartwheels back and then go home,” she told BBC Breakfast.

“As far as any dance training goes I’ve not had any.”

The actress admitted: “After a few drinks I kind of think I’m Britney Spears but I’m absolutely not, so I’m not good at all.”

Atkinson has one fear – being dropped.

“I’m 5ft 9in, I’m big for a girl, so as long as it’s (her dance partner) someone tall and strong because I don’t want someone lifting me and dropping me. That’s my only fear, being dropped,” she said.

The actress – who recently left the Dales but has hinted she will return – said of keeping her Strictly signing a secret: “I felt so snide lying to all my family. My mum’s obviously known… ”

She added: “I can finally say to my family: ‘I’m doing it.’ I’m sorry for lying.”

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Gemma Atkinson says ‘sparkly frocks’ are out of her comfort zone (Ian West/PA)

She told Breakfast hosts Naga Munchetty, a previous Strictly contestant, and Charlie Stayt that “sparkly frocks” were “out of my comfort zone”.

She added: “Even wearing heels for me is a big one.”

The host on Key 103 Breakfast told that show: “I am more likely to fit in on a show like Gladiators.

“I dress like a 14-year-old boy in work. I am a trackies and Converse kind of girl, but I have been wearing stilettos around my house.

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Gemma Atkinson attending the National Television Awards (Matt Crossick/PA)

“I don’t know how women do it all the time. I am not graceful, my mum says I’m like a baby elephant. I’m a big lass,” she said.

The one time she did have a spray tan she “stunk and when I woke up it was all over my bed,” she complained.

Atkinson, who will miss her two dogs Norman and Ollie, said: “It’s done now. I can’t change my mind. I’ve just been told it’s knackering and the hours are long. I’ll be a nervous wreck by the end of it.”

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