Belfast Telegraph

Gemma Atkinson almost turned down Strictly Come Dancing because of stage fright

Gemma Atkinson's mum talked her into saying yes to Strictly Come Dancing.

Gemma Atkinson nearly turned down the chance to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, because she is so scared about the prospect of performing live.

The 32-year-old is no stranger to the spotlight, having found fame as an actress, glamour model and radio presenter. But the thought of showing off her dancing talents live on television each week was so terrifying to Gemma that she actually had to be talked into taking on the gig by her mother.

"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 12 million people," she told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper.

"I've been in huge shows like Emmerdale, Casualty and Hollyoaks but I'm used to pre-recording everything. I actually stopped doing live theatre about 10 years ago because it is so nerve-racking, but I'll just have to get over that."

But when her mum told her she would be "silly" to let those fears win, Gemma gave it some more thought and eventually signed on the dotted line.

"After two weeks they chased my agent for an answer," she continued. "My mum told me it was such an amazing opportunity and I would be silly to turn it down."

Gemma will be competing alongside other famous faces including Aston Merrygold, Mollie King and Alexandra Burke, and said she's pleased she made the decision to take part in the show.

"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," she smiled.

Strictly Come Dancing launches on BBC One on Saturday (09Sep17).

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