Steamy Strictly dances are dangerous… if I wasn’t with Ola I’d have bedded more women than Giovanni, says James Jordan

OVER the years, many of Strictly’s professional dancer couples have fallen victim to the curse.

Back in series one, 20 years ago, Brendan Cole split up with fiancee Camilla Dallerup amid rumours of an affair with BBC News presenter Natasha Kaplinsky – which they both denied.

James and Ola Jordan became one of Strictly's most-loved couples

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James and Ola Jordan became one of Strictly’s most-loved couplesCredit: Rex
James with Denise Van Outen on Strictly

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James with Denise Van Outen on StrictlyCredit: Rex
Ola with McFly star Harry Judd on Strictly

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Ola with McFly star Harry Judd on StrictlyCredit: Handout
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton got together after being partnered on Strictly

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Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton got together after being partnered on StrictlyCredit: BBC

Karen Hauer’s marriage to Kevin Clifton fell apart shortly before he and partner Stacey Dooley started a relationship and Katya Jones was snapped kissing comedian Seann Walsh while married to Neil Jones.

But one of the few couples who managed to outlast the Strictly curse is James and Ola Jordan, who’ve been married for 20 years and together for 25.

The pair joined the show for series four in 2006, with James, 46, leaving in 2013, and Ola, 41, two years later.

And in an exclusive interview with The Sun, the couple reveal why the Strictly curse happens and how they’ve managed to stay so solid.

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“I don’t really believe in the whole Strictly curse,” says James. “It’s no different to any office in London or wherever, where John’s copping off with Sue around the corner.

“It happens in all walks of life. It just so happens that Strictly is on TV, so people are digging to find more.”

Ola adds: “I’m sure it happens in any Christmas party in an office. It’s just so magnified on Strictly, so everyone’s got interest in everyone’s business.”

Speaking at the new Anda Barut Collection in Bodrum, Turkey – where the pair were holidaying with their adorable four-year-old daughter Ella – James admits he understands why so many Strictly couples have got together, including Giovanni Pernice with ex-Corrie actress Georgia May Foote and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts.

James Jordan tells wife Ola to ‘put some clothes on’ as she parades 3.5stone weight loss in red underwear
Giovanni Pernice dated his dance partner Georgia May Foote

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Giovanni Pernice dated his dance partner Georgia May FooteCredit: BBC
Giovanni also dated Ashley Roberts - who he met on the show

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Giovanni also dated Ashley Roberts – who he met on the show

He even confesses he might have got steamy with some of his dance partners if he wasn’t married to Ola.

“You’re very close, aren’t you?” he says. “Day one, you come in and you’re literally rubbing up on each other, groin to groin.

“You just met them and you’re rubbing your crown jewels up against them.

“It’s normal in our world but not for everyone else and you’re so close to each other, dancing sexy, and there’s nice music and you’re training with each other for eight hours a day, so if there is a little bit of chemistry, something’s going to happen.”

“If they’re single, I say crack on, I’m all for it,” he adds. “If I wasn’t with Ola, I’d have been worse than Giovanni!”

‘In a very dark place’

James went into a "very dark place" when his dad died of a brain tumour

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James went into a “very dark place” when his dad died of a brain tumourCredit: INSTAGRAM/JAMES JORDAN
The pair put on weight with Ola going up three dress sizes through comfort eating

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The pair put on weight with Ola going up three dress sizes through comfort eatingCredit: Instagram

After leaving Strictly, many of the pros continue touring and dancing, but James and Ola didn’t, after their 2018 tour was cancelled when James “gave himself a double hernia”.

The couple put on weight and even shared a picture of their new bigger bodies in swimwear two summers ago.

But James has now confessed his weight gain was due to being in “a very dark place” when his father was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour in 2021.

His diagnosis, as well as Ola’s long IVF battle to have Ella, led to them both comfort eating.

You wake up one day and go ‘Wow, what happened to us? This is James and Ola, we used to be on Strictly!’

Ola Jordan

“At the same time as we went into lockdown, my dad got diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour,” James tells us. “I’m not gonna say I went into depression but I went into quite a dark place and I didn’t want to do anything.

“I didn’t really want to exercise. We were either eating or trying to see him.

“We just went into survival mode.”

“We were just surviving,” Ola adds. “Suddenly we had this newborn baby in our arms, dad was in hospital and the last thing on our minds was to be fit.”

Ola revealed she went up three dress sizes, from a size 8 to a size 14, after she gave birth to Ella in February 2020.

She says: “For me, it was also going through IVF, having Ella and being pregnant. 

“All my life, I was very strict on myself with food, so I was enjoying relaxing in my pregnancy to a point that I was enjoying the food too much.

“And then when I had Ella, we were in lockdown, so I was enjoying the food at home even more, and not moving, being in my loungewear at home and not squeezing into my jeans.

“You’ve got this baby in your arms and then suddenly you wake up one day and you go ‘Wow, what happened to us? This is James and Ola, we used to be on Strictly!’”

Lost 6.5st ‘to be around for Ella’

James lost 3 stone thanks to their Dance Shred workouts

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James lost 3 stone thanks to their Dance Shred workoutsCredit: Instagram
Ola lost over 3.5 stone after putting on weight

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Ola lost over 3.5 stone after putting on weightCredit: Instagram
Ola running their Dance Shred class at Anda Barut Collection

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Ola running their Dance Shred class at Anda Barut CollectionCredit: Anda Barut Collection
James and Ola have lost over six stone through Dance Shred

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James and Ola have lost over six stone through Dance ShredCredit: Anda Barut Collection

James says they started Googling pictures of themselves from back in their Strictly days and “wondering what happened.”

“I was like, ‘Ola, you were well fit, what happened?’” he jokes, as Ola playfully slaps him on the wrist.

He continues: “I know there’s this big thing about weight, like ‘You can’t say that, you’ve got to embrace your weight.’

“But we were unhealthy. It’s a scientific fact.

“We were unhealthy to the point where I used to bend over to do my shoelaces and I’d get reflux.”

To motivate themselves, James and Ola got a friend to take a snap of them in their swimwear by a pool, which they shared on social media with their fans.

They then vowed to change their unhealthy ways together, as a couple, and created a new weight loss programme, Dance Shred, combining dancing with functional exercises.

Together, they’ve lost over six stone – and they unveiled their trimmer physiques last year.

“Dance Shred gave us a focus again, because we did, kind of, lose focus and we want to be around as long as possible for this little one,” James says, pointing at Ella. “So getting fit was an important part of our lives.

“Between the two of us, we’ve lost over six and a half stone, and we needed to, because we were unhealthy.

“And I feel so much better since we’ve started exercising again.

“It is an important part of our lives now, which I think it is for so many people who understand about fitness and the fact that you will live longer if you’re fit and healthy and exercise.” 

‘Miracle baby’ following in their footsteps

Ola and James say Ella is following in their footsteps

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Ola and James say Ella is following in their footstepsCredit: instagram/jamesjordan1978

Other than the fact they want to stay healthy to ensure they’re around for Ella, it’s very clear how much they dote on her, especially as they tried for a baby for three years before conceiving her through IVF.

“She’s our miracle baby,” Ola beams, as she looks at her.

James adds: “It’s nice because obviously people love kids but so many people say, ‘She’s so polite. She’s so well behaved’.”

As Ella plays up to the camera, slurping her drink louder when Ola tells her off and I start laughing, it’s very clear that she is going to follow in her parents’ footsteps.

I even spotted her joining Ian Waite’s Fitsteps class during the Wellness Weekend at the Anda Barut hotel too.

“She does show signs of being a dancer,” says James

The couples hit by the Strictly curse

2004 – Brendan Cole split with his Strictly pro fiancé Camilla Dallerup after growing close Natasha Kaplinsky.

2007 – Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace were a partnership on and off screen, until she waltzed off with EastEnders star Matt Di Angelo.

2009 – Vincent confessed to an affair with Strictly co-star Kristina Rihanoff, while he was expecting a child with girlfriend Susan Duddy.

2009 – Kristina started dating boxer Jo Calzaghe, after he dumped his girlfriend of five years, Jo-Emma Larvin, a week into the series.

2010 – Flavia ditched Matt and went on to marry actor Jimi Mistry.

2013 – England rugby player Ben Cohen left his wife of 11 years, Abby, for Kristina and they’re now married with an eight-year-old daughter.

2013 – Rachel Riley announced she’d split from her husband of 15 months, Jamie Gilbert. Less than a year later she went public with Strictly pro Pasha Kovalev, insisting there was no overlap.

2015 – Georgia May Foote was dating her Corrie co-star Sean Ward, but dumped him and was soon going out with Giovanni Pernice.

2018 – Married couple Karen and Kevin Clifton split, and he went on to date Stacey Dooley, who had a boyfriend, and have a child with her.

2018 – Seann Walsh and Katya Jones were snapped kissing while he had a long-term girlfriend and she was married to Neil Jones.

2021 – John Whaite recently confessed he “fell in love” with Strictly pro Johannes Radebe and took some time apart from his fiance Paul Atkins.

Ola adds: “She loves it. When we were doing Ian’s class, she was in there the whole time.”

James adds: “She definitely has this performer in her, but Dad is still hoping she’s going to become a professional golfer, so I can travel the world.

“I’m gonna be her caddy and manager.”

Remembering Robin Windsor

James is going on a Legends tour with Vincent Simone, Brendan Cole and co

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James is going on a Legends tour with Vincent Simone, Brendan Cole and coCredit: Instagram
James says they'd love to remember Robin Windsor in the show

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James says they’d love to remember Robin Windsor in the showCredit: Getty

James admits “life has changed massively” for the couple since they had Ella, cheekily adding: “It’s over now.”

But the biggest adjustment for James and Ola has been having to turn down work.

“Our priorities have changed,” says James “A lot of the time, we get job enquiries where we have to turn them down because we’ll both be away.”

Ola agrees: “Yeah, the problem is we work together, so it’s hard just to drop everything and pack your bag and go somewhere. 

“We always bring Ella with us.”

All of us would love to do something for Robin Windsor, because he was a big part of our lives and was such a lovely human being.

James Jordan

James will be away from Ella for the first time in September, when he embarks on a Legends tour with his former Strictly co-stars Brendan, Iain, Vincent Simone and Pasha Kovalev.

James believes Robin Windsor – who sadly died in February this year – would’ve been in the show too, so he’s hoping they pay tribute to him.

He says: “Obviously, I’m not the creative director, but I think all of us would love to do something for him, because he was a big part of our lives, working with him. 

“He was such a lovely human being.”

Ola was asked to do the Legends tour with James but was forced to turn it down, due to Ella starting school in September.

James explains: “We had to decide which one of us was going to stay at home, and I’m sure the lads would have much preferred Ola to have been on tour with them than me.

“But they got me instead.

“They’ve all not stopped touring since leaving Strictly – so it’s going to be the Legends and James Jordan.”

Ola adds: “Ella is my life now, she’s my priority, and she starts school in September so I feel like she should be going to school and staying home.

“She’s not a baby any more so she can’t just live out of hotels with us.”

‘Looking for an Ola replacement’

James is now looking for a replacement for Ola for when he goes on tour

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James is now looking for a replacement for Ola for when he goes on tourCredit: Hayley Minn

With Ola not going on tour, James is making a plea to find a new dance partner, and auditioning for an “Ola replacement”.

James says: “If The Sun can help me, I’m looking for a new partner to go on tour with. This is genuine.

“This is not for a dating site or anything but I’m looking for a new partner to replace Ola because she’s not able to come with me.

“I’m going to have to do tryouts with a few different girls.”

“You’re gonna love that, aren’t you?” Ola laughs.

People often say ‘You can’t say that to Ola,’ and get offended for her but I couldn’t imagine not being with her.

James Jordan

After the Legends tour is over, James has two weeks at home in November before he goes off again to play Dandini in Cinderella 

“Obviously, we’ve been away from each other before,” James says. “But I’m not looking forward to it.”

Ola chimes in: “I’m looking forward to it, to having a lovely time at home. It’ll be nice and quiet.”

James continues: “Actually, I’ll have no one bothering me. Wives; sometimes they’re like wasps, aren’t they?

“But being away from my daughter is gonna be hard. I’m not looking forward to that at all.

“I might come back and she might be like, ‘Who are you?’ 

“She’ll have seen the gardeners more than me.”

It’s this banter that James and Ola have which they believe is the reason they’ve been together for 25 years.

“We take the mickey out of each other,” James says. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.

“Of course we argue. Of course everyone has stress in their life, but it’s how you deal with it and we do just get each other.

“We know when each other’s a bit down or grumpy.

“People often say ‘You can’t say that to her,’ and get offended for her.”

“I give it to him just as much as he gives it to me,” Ola chimes in.

“I couldn’t imagine not being with you,” he finishes.

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