Gemma Atkinson unveils new project after quitting acting in ‘gruelling’ soaps

Gemma Atkinson teased she was “away working on something” while she was pregnant with her fiancé and Gorka Marquez’s son Thiago, and she has finally spilled the secret.

The former soap star, who met Gorka on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, took to Instagram to announce the news, writing: “When I was pregnant I did story writing away saying I was working on something I was really excited about…

“I can finally say what it is…,” she shared, alongside a raising hands emoji.

In the post that followed, Gemma shared a promotional image of the front cover of her new children’s book, Dogs Don’t Dance, illustrated by Lisa Hunt.

The Hits Radio presenter enthusiastically wrote alongside it: “My first children’s book!

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“#Dogsdontdance is a confidence building adventure book combining man’s best friend & dance.

“Dave & Dusty the Dachshunds are excited to meet you all.”

The advert revealed Gemma’s new book for younger audiences, which seems to be inspired by her love of dogs and her life-changing experience of learning to dance, will be available to buy in February next year.

It comes after the mum-of-two revealed during her maternity leave in August that she has quit acting and won’t be looking for new roles.

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Gemma played Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks and in three spin-off series, Hollyoaks: After Hours, Hollyoaks: Let Loose and Hollyoaks: In the City.

She also appeared as Tamzin Bayle in Casualty, and Carly Hope in Emmerdale, before juggling her radio schedule and acting career became too difficult to handle.

“I don’t think I will [return to acting],” Gemma divulged to OK! Magazine.

She continued: “I’ve got the radio, I’ve got the podcast. I’ve got all my fitness stuff and my brand stuff with In The Style.

“I wouldn’t do soaps again, the hours are so gruelling.

“I’m in a place now where I can be a bit more picky. I’ve been working full-time in acting since I was 15 so I feel like I’ve done all that now.

“I’ve got a nice stage where I can be at home a lot more. I feel very lucky.”

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