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Strictly's Simon Rimmer responds to Gemma Atkinson 'romance' rumours

The Sunday Brunch presenter has two children with his wife Ali

by Ainhoa Barcelona

Simon Rimmer has addressed reports that he had a brief romance with his Strictly co-star Gemma Atkinson. The married TV presenter, who has two children with his wife Ali, dismissed the rumours on Twitter and poked fun at the speculation. "Gemma is like a daughter to me and has become a friend of all my family. I think it's funny," he wrote. The Hollyoaks actress, 33, retweeted Simon's post and also saw the funny side as she wrote, "Howling," alongside a string of laughing emojis.

Simon continued to show his sense of humour as he replied to fans. When one commented that he was "seriously punching" above his weight, Simon, 54, quipped: "Gemma is? Thanks." The Sunday Brunch star also tweeted Gemma directly, asking: "Do you think we need to be quiet about our date on Weds with my wife and 23 of our friends Gem? x."

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"Gemma is like a daughter to me and has become a friend of all my family," Simon wrote

The chef has two teenage children with his wife Ali, 50, who he met when they were both waiting tables. Before his appearance on the BBC dance show, Simon admitted that his wife wasn't worried about the so-called 'Strictly curse'. Speaking to the Huffington Post, he revealed: "One of our friends said to her the other week, 'Are you not worried about the Strictly curse?' And she said, 'Hold on. Let me get this straight. So you're saying a really, really attractive, young, professional dancer is going to be attracted to my lumbering 54-year-old husband who can't dance? No, I'm not worried.' She said it without even a beat, not even a second, where there was that trepidation in her voice."

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Simon, who was paired with Karen Clifton on the show, became the fifth celebrity to be voted off Strictly at the end of October. The pair were reunited at the weekend for a big group dance which they performed on the series finale. After the show, Simon tweeted: "My @bbcstrictly journey comes to a close today. I've loved EVERY second. Thank you all for your support. Have made some incredible friends. Biggest thanks and love to @karen_hauer for making me believe. Love you KC X."

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