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Strictly Come Dancing star Ore Oduba celebrates first wedding anniversary with wife Portia - full story

ore oduba

To mark their first wedding anniversary, Ore Oduba posed with his wife Portia for an exclusive photoshoot for HELLO! in November 2016. At the time, Ore was competing on Strictly Come Dancing and his TV researcher wife supported him every step of the way. "She’s my choreographer, stylist, physiotherapist as well as wife," Ore said. "It’s easy for this show to become like a runaway train and for loved ones to feel they are outside that, but Portia was always going to be part of the inner Strictly circle. When I was in the dance-off, it gave me a real boost knowing she was there."

Portia also formed a strong bond with Ore's dance partner, Joanne Clifton. "People on Strictly have said they’ve never seen the contestants’ families be together so much," said Portia. "I’ll be with Danny Mac’s fiancée Carley [Stenson, ex-Hollyoaks actress] and Greg Rutherford’s girlfriend Susie Verrill. We’ve become so close and will each other’s partners on." The couple live in an apartment in Manchester and Portia travels to Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire every weekend to cheer Ore on. She also offers advice when he practises his dance moves at home. 

ore oduba and wife portia© Photo: HELLO!

Ore and his wife Portia spoke to HELLO! in 2016

Portia and Ore met in April 2011, when Ore gave a talk at a student TV awards conference at his exuniversity, Loughborough."I thought, ‘Don’t even bother trying with Portia because she is way out of my league,’" said Ore. "I’d sort of given up chatting up girls. I’d tried and failed too often." It was Portia who approached him and said she was working at the BBC, so they might see each other around. 

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Her words came true when they bumped into each other at a work party. "I said, ‘Hi, nice to see you again,’" said Portia. "He was very friendly and chatty because that’s what he’s like, but there was pizza at the party and at that point he was more interested in the pizza. I went up to him again later in the evening and thought, ‘He is very attractive.’"

ore oduba and wife portia© Photo: Instagram

The couple have a son Roman together

Ore said of his love for Portia: "Until meeting Portia, I’d thought relationships were a bit of a game in which you had to play it cool, seem keen or not so keen. But with us, there was no game. We just liked each other’s company. I knew she was The One straight away. From the first two months, we talked about wanting children. The way we are with each other hasn't dipped or changed. I know it will always be fine when Portia is here."

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"Our sense of humour is identical," Portia added. "We laugh all the time. We complement each other. I like to be early and he likes to be what he calls on time, but is not. I rush him and he tells me to calm down. He’s tidy and I’m not." Ore admitted: "We’ve had our ups and downs – for external reasons – but we’ve kept each other rooted and we can always hug it out. I know it will always be fine when Portia is here."

ore oduba and wife portia© Photo: Getty Images

Ore proposed in front of Portia's family at home

Ore proposed on 15 November 2014, six months after asking Portia's dad's permission. The first part of the elaborate proposal plan involved lunch at London’s Shard skyscraper, then going to the top to see the views. "Portia had always said if I proposed in public she would have my guts for garters," Ore laughed. "We got to the top and I pulled out a card, in which I’d written lots of emotional things and the line, ‘There’s one question I have to ask you… please turn over.’"

Instead of a proposal, the question asked if Portia would like to fly to Dubai the next day. Anticipating that she would, Ore had packed her suitcase. "I was so confused," said Portia, who then found that Ore had arranged with her bosses for her to have time off. First, though, they travelled to Portia’s family home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where her mum had the ring ready for Ore to propose. "I walked into the living room and thought, ‘Oh, everyone’s dressed up,’" said Portia. 

Ore then got down on one knee. "For someone whose job it is to talk, I spoke more gobbledygook than I’ve said in my life," said Ore, welling up at the memory. "But I then said, ‘After three and a half years with you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’" He presented her with a Boodles diamond ring, which he had designed after numerous visits to the jeweller. Their wedding was held at St Paul’s Church, Rusthall, near Portia’s family home.

joanne clifton and ore oduba© Photo: Getty Images

Ore and his Strictly dance partner Joanne Clifton

For their first exclusive photoshoot together, the couple returned to their wedding reception venue, Penshurst Place in Kent. Portia said: "My over-riding memory is of Ore's emotions – he was so teary throughout the day." She adds of their first dance: "Everyone says, 'Your wedding dance must have been amazing.' But it was just a little dance. Ore whispered, 'Shall I lift you up?' I said 'No' while smiling through my teeth. Now I see him lifting Jo up and spinning her around," says Portia, referring to Ore's Strictly dance partner Joanne Clifton. 

They celebrated their first wedding anniversary at the Shard, where they had dinner. The traditional gift for first anniversaries is paper, but Ore had other ideas. "He got a diamond Boodles necklace with the initial P, which stands for Portia, but he says it was for paper as well," laughed Portia. 

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