Gorka Marquez
Gorka Marquez with dance partner Tameka Empson BBC

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Gorka Marquez was the victim of a violent assault in the streets of Blackpool, hours after taking part in filming a special of the show. The 26-year-old was reportedly set upon by a group of youths as he walked to the Flamingo nightclub in the town and was punched in the face.

He is believed to have lost two of his teeth during the what is being described as a "entirely random" attack and is due to have emergency dental surgery on Monday 21 November to repair the damage.

A BBC spokesman confirmed that the Spanish dancer had been the target of an "unprovoked incident" on Saturday night, but was expected to rejoin rehearsals for the hit dancing competition later in the week.

The rep added: "He will be back in training this week and is looking forward to the group routine next weekend."

According to the Sun, Marquez was with fellow pro dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and Neil Jones at the time of the attack.

A friend told the publication that he refused to be defeated. "Gorka's an incredibly passive guy, he wouldn't hurt a fly. He's so upbeat that he won't let an unprovoked attack from a yob ruin his first Strictly in Blackpool."

Strictly travels to Blackpool once per series for a special episode broadcast from the home of ballroom dancing, the Winter Gardens Tower Ballroom.

Marquez is taking part in his first Strictly series after partnering with EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, who plays Kim Fox in the BBC soap, earlier this year. Although the duo was eliminated in the second round, he has continued to take part in the show's weekly group routines. He also danced with singer Anastacia when her professional dancer Brendan Cole was taken ill.