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Strictly's Gorka Marquez 'feeling better' after he was attacked in Blackpool

Published 21/11/2016

Strictly Come Dancing dancer Gorka Marquez was attacked hours after he took part in the show's Blackpool special
Strictly Come Dancing dancer Gorka Marquez was attacked hours after he took part in the show's Blackpool special

Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez has thanked fans for their support after it emerged he was attacked in Blackpool.

The professional dancer is said to have been beaten up by a gang of youths on a street in the seaside resort, just hours after he took part in Saturday's live show.

The Spaniard, who was reported to be undergoing dental surgery after having two teeth smashed, posted a message on his Twiitter and Instagram accounts.

He said: "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 attack is believed to have happened as the 26-year-old was walking to the Flamingo nightclub with fellow dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and Neil Jones.

A statement issued on behalf of the nightclub said: "The Strictly star was en-route to The Flamingo to celebrate with friends after an incredible performance in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

"Unfortunately, Gorka was attacked whilst making his way through the town centre and sadly didn't reach our venue.

"Over the last few years, Flamingo and other venues of Funny Girls Limited, have played host on several occasions to the cast of Strictly Come Dancing where they have enjoyed many memorable evenings celebrating with us.

"We would like to send Gorka our good wishes for a speedy recovery."

The incident has not been reported to the police.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: "We are aware that reports of this incident are in the media today.

"This matter has not been reported to the police but we have made contact with the BBC this morning to try and establish details of the incident which would allow us to investigate further."

A BBC spokesman said Marquez was expected to rejoin rehearsals later in the week.

He said: "Gorka was sadly the victim of an unprovoked incident in Blackpool on Saturday night, but he will be back in training this week and is looking forward to the group routine next weekend."

Marquez's dance partner, EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, was voted out early on in the series.

He partnered singer Anastacia when Brendan Cole was unwell.

At the weekend he partnered fellow pro Janette Manrara in a routine to a Rick Astley song and also appeared in the group dance.

The Sun quoted a friend saying it was a "random" attack.

"Gorka and a few of the other dancers were heading to a nightclub to let their hair down after another brilliant show," the friend said.

"All of a sudden this group of local louts came out of nowhere. One of them punched Gorka in the face and broke two of his teeth."

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