My sweet taste of freedom: actress and DJ Gemma Atkinson, 35, talks about how she handled lockdown and what she’s looking forward to, now it gets easier
- Gemma Atkinson, 35, lives in Manchester with Strictly dancer Gorka Marquez
- Actress has finished reading autobiographies and baking with her family
- She is looking forward to returning to the gym to practice Thai boxing
The actress and DJ, 35, lives in Manchester with the strictly professional dancer Gorka Marquez, whom she met on the show in 2017, and their daughter Mia, one year old. Here she talks about how she handled lockdown, and what she’s looking forward to now will make it easier …
FITNESS IS MY ADDICTION
“Gorka and I love to keep fit, and we have a home gym in our garage that we use a lot. Fitness is my addiction and I love Thai boxing.
‘As a child I was obsessed with the actor and martial artist Jean Claude Van Damme [right]; I wanted to be like him. But my mother didn’t let me start kickboxing.
She said it was too rough and aggressive and instead pushed me towards karate. I thought that was great, but I still wanted to pedal like Van Damme.
Actress and DJ Gemma Atkinson, 35, (pictured) who lives in Manchester, said she looks forward to practicing Thai boxing
Thai boxing uses fists, elbows, knees and shins, and it’s a brilliant way to take a hard day out of your system. It’s also good for your heart, good for building, and it’s just a lot of fun.
‘Getting hit and kicked may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s a great way to exercise.
It was the Hollyoaks and Luther actor Warren Brown who introduced me to it about eight years ago. He is a former world champion and took me to a gym in Bolton.
“ I trained there up to three times a week until lockdown and can’t wait to go back now that the gyms are open again. We have a punching bag at home, but I miss someone holding up the blocks and yelling at me to work harder! ‘
STRICTLY DANCING ON THE TABLES
Gemma revealed she is looking forward to a meal at Albert’s Schloss German bar, which she discovered during Strictly in 2017. In the photo: Gemma and Aljaz Skorjanec
‘I met Gorka when I was dancing with Aljaz Skorjanec on Strictly in 2017. Gorka had partnered with Alexandra Burke, and we were both second.
Chef Simon Rimmer was there that year too, and when me and Simon were training for the Manchester show, he suggested we have a meal every week at his German bar Albert’s Schloss.
We called our small dinner group The Tuesday Club and look forward to going back. They have a lot of live music and you can have a lovely dinner and then everyone pushes the chairs aside and people dance on tables. ‘
WHAT A THRILLER
‘In lockdown I started reading again. I love autobiographies and I’ve read Demi Moore and Jessica Simpson’s, and also Tom Rob Smith’s mystery thriller Child 44 because I loved the Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman movie.
“It’s about a Russian war hero and his wife who are on the trail of a serial killer while trying to evade sinister State Security Ministry agents.”
FINISH WITH MIA
Gemma records her daily radio show in her bedroom and spends the rest of the day with Mia and Gorka (pictured) during the lockdown
Lockdown has made my life easier. I record my daily radio show in my bedroom and spend the rest of the day with Mia and Gorka, whose tours have all been canceled due to the virus.
He’s normally only home four months of the year so this was great, especially since he only speaks Mia in Spanish and it’s clear she’s picking it up.
“It’s great to have this extra time with Mia – usually I take her to my mom for a week, work, and pick her up late. I don’t normally have time to bake, but we made banana bread and cheesecake.
‘We also listened to the birds in the garden and I want to do more for the environment, which is why I recently became an ambassador for Pura, which has no plastic in its baby wipes.’
THE NEXT IS LOCH DOWN
Gemma said that Loch Ness in Scotland (pictured) is the place she most wants to visit again
‘Loch Ness in Scotland is the place I would most like to visit again. My father’s family is Scottish and twice a year we have a caravan holiday in the Highlands. As soon as I get there I immediately feel relaxed. ‘
As told to Nicole La mpert. You can listen to Gemma on Hits Drivetime Show radio, weekdays, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.