Former Emmerdale star Gemma Atkinson declares she really wants to make it as far as Blackpool as she prepares for the start of Strictly Come Dancing this Saturday

Gemma Atkinson, best known for her role as Carly Hope in ITV’s Emmerdale, is part of this year’s star-studded Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

TV Times caught up with the actress to see how she was feeling ahead of the show’s start on Saturday. She revealed that she was determined to push herself and her body.

Gemma said: “I want to challenge myself – I’m comfortable being in the gym, not dancing in a sparkly frock with heels on!” It will definitely be a big change from the wellies Gemma  needed when in the Dales!

When asked what the toughest part of competing in Strictly, you might think of the long hours, tough training sessions or the complicated dance routines that the contestants have to remember. But when Gemma was asked she replied: “Believing in myself.”

Time to dance 😏 You know you're nervous when you'd rather be putting on some gloves to get hit in the face by @dazthaiboxer instead of putting on a dress trying to dance! 😩😂 #strictlycomedancing

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on


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The actress explained: “I get quite worried that I won’t do my best, so the challenge will be to overcome that and say, ‘You deserve to be on the show, make the most of it.’ I can be my own worst critic.”

Gemma is too modest to say that she wants to win but she certainly wants to go all the way. She said: “I’d really love to make it to Blackpool. It was my favourite holiday destination growing up – we used to go all the time – and in fact I was  there last month. Dancing there would be a real dream come true.”

Other soap stars competing in this year’s Strictly include: Holby City’s  Joe McFadden and Chizzy Akudolu and Davood Ghadami from EastEnders.

Will the soap stars have what it takes to go all the way to the final? We’ll have to tune in to find out…

Strictly Come Dancing starts on Saturday on BBC1 at 7pm