Former Emmerdale star Gemma Atkinson reveals she's "beyond excited" but "incredibly nervous" about taking part in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, which launches this Saturday

Life’s been busy for Gemma Atkinson since she left Carly Hope and Emmerdale behind. And it’s about to get a whole lot busier now she’s starring in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, which kicks off on BBC1 this Saturday…

You’re looking even more amazing than usual, Gemma!
“Thanks. If you think you have to kill yourself in the gym for hours on end to get an amazing body, you really don’t. You need to train hard, but you need to train smart, too. This is something I’ve come to understand while training with the guys at Ultimate Performance gym in Manchester. I love it there.”

And you need to be super fit now you are doing Strictly Come Dancing 2017!
“I’m beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and Latin dancing and taking on this new challenge.”

So how do you train ‘smart’?
“You don’t have to do endless cardio for a start. There’s a misconception the more you do in the gym, the quicker results will come. You can just get in, get the work done on the weights, then go. It’s four times a week for 45 minutes and I’m getting amazing results.”

What’s your least favourite part of your body?
“I used to hate my legs. I thought they were too muscular and too big. That’s why I’m in jeans or trousers a lot of the time. But now I’m like, ‘These legs are amazing!’ I’m learning how to embrace them.”

What are you doing work-wise – besides Strictly, of course?
“I do the breakfast show on Manchester’s Key 103 music station. I love it. It’s really good fun and it’s like hanging out with your best mates.”

Do you think you’ll  return to Emmerdale one day?
“The possibility of Carly Hope coming back is huge. She has her dad in the village, and little April Dingle. She went off with Matt, but there’s a shadow over it because she has unfinished business in Emmerdale.”