Who is Gorka Marquez, Strictly Come Dancing pro?

Series 14 in 2016 was Gorka’s first turn around the Strictly dance floor. Here’s what you need to know about Alexandra Burke's dance partner.

Gorka was a Strictly Come Dancing newbie for the 2016 edition of the show, and he made an immediate impact with his partnership with EastEnders actress Tameka Empson.

In the 2017 competition, Gorka went in with a strong chance of winning as Alexandra Burke's partner - and the pair have reached the grand final.

Here’s what you need to know about Gorka:

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Who is Gorka Marquez?

Spanish-born Gorka began dancing at the age of 12 and represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010 and the 2012 WDSF World Cup. Gorka then danced and taught at a dance school in Guadaljara, around 40 miles outside of Madrid, before his career took him around the world.

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He’s another Strictly professional who took to the stage in the smash-hit dance show Burn the Floor, like Janette Manrara, Aljaz Skorjanec, Kevin Clifton and Karen Clifton.

On joining Strictly, Gorka said: “It’s something that every dancer dreams of and something that I always wanted to have the opportunity to do.”

Gorka’s first year on Strictly was not without its ups and downs. He and celeb partner Tameka Empson were a popular pairing and, after they were eliminated, Gorka even stood in for an unwell Brendan and partnered Anastacia for a show.

However, when Strictly went to Blackpool for the annual show from the Tower Ballroom, Gorka found himself in the headlines as the victim of an assault near a local nightclub. Luckily Gorka was not seriously injured and he was able to join the Strictly Live Tour.

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In this year's competition, Gorka has been propelled into the limelight as one of the show's stars, thanks to bagging talented celeb dancer Alexandra Burke as a partner.

The pairing have excelled right from the first week, winning particular praise for their Jive, Cha Cha, Quickstep, Charleston and Viennese Waltz, and in the semi-final managed a perfect 40 with their Salsa.

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However, the voting audience haven't always been so convinced and the couple have found themselves in the dance-off despite regularly topping the leaderboard. It's anyone's guess whether they can win in the final.

Best-ever finish: Gorka and partner, EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, were eliminated in the third round of last year’s Strictly, but this year he is a strong contender in the final with popstar Alexandra Burke.

Worst-ever finish: Gorka finished 14th in his only Strictly outing so far.

Former celebrity partners: Tameka Empson.

Did you know? Gorka was born in Bilbao, 250 miles north of Madrid.

Celebrity partner 2017: Alexandra Burke

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Photo credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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