Helen Skelton makes Strictly Come Dancing debut with professional Gorka Marquez

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The couple wowed the judges with an American Smooth on Saturday night and have already formed a strong bond

Helen Skelton, 39, is one of the new celebrities taking on the challenge of Strictly Come Dancing in 2022.

The show kicked off with a bang on Friday 23 September when the celebs met their dancing professionals for the first time.

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Helen, who is from Carlisle, found out that her partner is Gorka Marquez, 32, a Spanish professional  who reached the semi-finals of the 2012 World Dance Sport Federation World Cup.

Helen and Gorka danced an American Smooth for their first performance.Helen and Gorka danced an American Smooth for their first performance.
Helen and Gorka danced an American Smooth for their first performance. | Getty Images

Strictly was due to air one week prior but it was delayed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Fans of the show got a double bill of the show this weekend with a live episode on Saturday 24 September.

Helen and Gorka performed an American Smooth, which won them a score of 26 from the judges.

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They danced to the song You Send Me by Aretha Franklin and Helen wore a sparkly baby blue dress during her first Strictly experience.

Helen is known for being a presenter on Countryfile. Helen is known for being a presenter on Countryfile.
Helen is known for being a presenter on Countryfile. | Getty Images for National Lotter

Helen received mostly positive feedback from the judges and was told that she was an elegant dancer.

But Anton Du Beke, who is on the judging panel for the first time this year, told Helen that she needed to “own the dance” and believe in herself more in future performances.

Helen and Gorka stayed in the top half of the leaderboard this weekend alongside Will Mellor, Hamza Yassin and Molly Rainford.

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There was no elimination during week one and all scores will be rolled over to week two - the two celebs with the lowest results will face the dreaded dance off and one unlucky dancer will be sent home.

Helen scored 26 out of 40 for her first dance on Strictly. Helen scored 26 out of 40 for her first dance on Strictly.
Helen scored 26 out of 40 for her first dance on Strictly. | Getty Images

After the show Helen took to Instagram to thank her partner for his support.

She wrote: “Credit where it’s due…this one @gorka_marquez deserves kudos for not only getting me around the dancefloor but on it in the first place.

“Grateful Mr M. You’re a master at your craft and a belter of a pal.

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“To all the families holding down the first behind the scenes….we are grateful. Pretty sure I owe my parents Christmas in the Caribbean by the time this is over.”

The post has received over 18,000 likes and a few famous faces have wished her well on her Strictly journey.

Actress Catherine Tyldesley wrote: “You were incredible.”

Presenter Matt Baker said: “Go Helen.”

And her dance partner Gorka replied to the post saying: “It’s all down to you and your hard work! So proud.”

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