HELLO! DIGITAL COVER STORY
Exclusive: James and Ola Jordan on Ella's first Christmas, second baby plans and how much life has changed
The couple are HELLO!'s December digital cover stars
Having been together for over 20 years, this Christmas is set to be extra special for James and Ola Jordan who are celebrating their first festive season with their baby daughter Ella.
Speaking from their beautiful home in Kent, the couple exclusively tell HELLO! about their plans for Ella's first Christmas, their hopes for a second child and just how much life has changed for the first-time parents.
MORE: Take a peek inside James and Ola Jordan's stunning family home
Ola and James have also been relying on their little girl to keep them smiling during what has been the best but also the hardest year; not just because of the pandemic, but James' father's ill health. "I believe she was sent to us to help us through this," Ola, 38, says. "I can't remember the life we had without her. She has taken over our home, and our hearts."
James and Ola star on our December digital cover
New parents often talk about being in a baby bubble for the first few weeks, but it sounds like yours has gone on for months?
Ola: "I can't remember the life we had without her to be honest. She has taken over now! It is really weird as I feel like I've been home ever since I had her. The thing is you can't really go and do any classes or meet other parents with babies, as you would normally do, go to a coffee shop, swap advice, but I didn't have any of that."
James: "Ella hasn't met another baby yet…"
MORE: James and Ola Jordan's baby reaches exciting new milestone
Ola: "I would like her to meet someone the same age, to see what she does. She is missing out on interacting with other babies as well. I'm sad for her that she isn't getting that interaction that she would normally."
James: "At least she's lucky she has a really funny dad. She is always laughing. She is a very happy baby. Well, not at the moment as she has more teeth coming through."
WATCH: James and Ola Jordan reveal their new Christmas tradition with Ella
You two have always been happy together but she is clearly the heart of your home….
Ola: "Oh definitely. My home was quite nice and stylish before she came along and now there are toys everywhere. Our lovely marble coffee table is long gone, and the playpen is in front of the TV instead. All our time is all about Ella. But that was what we always wanted."
James: "We were always quite homely people, even when we danced and travelled around the world, we always looked forward to coming home. That was the best time. Our favourite night was to order takeaway, watch a film. We like being at home."
MORE: Meet the future generation of Strictly Come Dancing: the pros and their adorable babies
"All our time is all about Ella. But that was what we always wanted," said Ola
People say Christmas becomes special again when you see it through the eyes of a child. Do you believe that?
James: "I get that. Last year we didn't really even put decorations up. We'd been doing panto and working quite a lot."
Ola: "But with Ella we want to do all that, we want her to feel that it is a different time of the year. She already loves the Christmas lights, the tree."
James: "We know she is not really going to understand or remember it, but we want it to feel different for her."
MORE: James Jordan makes cheeky insult to wife Ola
"She will have a few presents to open but she will probably be more interested in the paper than the presents!" said James
Have you bought lots of presents for Ella?
Ola: "We said we'd be disciplined as it is easy to go over the top. I never had many toys as a child and I turned out all right. I don't want her to be spoilt, but of course we want to give her everything."
James: "She will have a few presents to open but she will probably be more interested in the paper than the presents!"
Who will be doing the cooking on Christmas Day?
James: "I do all the tidying up, cleaning, washing up and help with the preparation but when it comes to cooking, I leave that to Ola…"
Ola, laughing: "We don't want to be poisoned, do we?"
MORE: James Jordan shows baby Ella in her nursery - and it's amazing!
"I can't remember the life we had without her to be honest," said Ola
Ella is yet to meet her maternal grandparents, who live in Poland. But will you be spending Christmas with James' parents?
Ola: "My parents have seen her on FaceTime but they have not been able to meet and hold her. My dad gets really upset, bless him. It is heartbreaking for them. But I ring every day, every morning when we wake up, and show them Ella. Of course, it's not the same as cuddling her. It's a real shame they can't come over for Christmas and at the moment I am not sure when they will be able to meet her."
James: "We have stuck to every single rule that the government has put out there. We've worn face masks, wiped down deliveries, but I am not going to not see my mum and dad at Christmas. We are forming a family bubble. We don't know how long he has left…"
Ola says their daughter was sent to help them through this difficult period
Given your dad's diagnosis, have there been more tears this year than ever before?
James: "I have never cried so much in my life. The first three or four months made me really ill, and I wasn't myself, I still can't get my head around it. My dad has only just retired, he was 67 when he found out he has a terminal brain tumour. I was with the doctors in the room when they told my mum and dad. I will never ever forget the look on their faces, that will haunt me for the rest of my life."
Ola: "I believe Ella was sent to us to help us through this."
James: "Although having Ella has been the best thing that has ever happened to us, it has been the hardest year. Not because of COVID-19, although that is such a massive thing and probably the worst thing that is going to happen to our generation, but for me overshadowed by my father's ill health. It's just horrific. To be able to come home and see Ella, she is the only thing at the moment that is putting a smile on everyone's faces, including Dad's. She just makes you smile."
The couple will spend Christmas with James' parents
How has your relationship changed since becoming parents?
James: "The thing is in the celebrity world a couple of years is a long-term relationship, but we've been with each other just over 20 years now, so there is not really anything I didn't already know about Ola. I always knew she was going to be a great mum, and very hands on. And likewise, I think Ola knew I would always be a big part of bringing up our little girl, and be hands on."
Ola: "He really is. When I talk to friends they say, my husband didn't do that or didn't help with that."
James: "That has been easier at the moment as we are both at home all the time."
Ola: "Being at home with Ella so much, I love it. I don't have to go to work, and I'm lucky that James has been here. It has been just us and our baby."
A peek inside Ella's nursery
In the early months, you said you felt overprotective. Have you chilled out a bit more as parents?
James: "I would say I have. I think Ola and I both suffer a bit with OCD, about the house, and for me in particular, that has gone away a lot more. I do still stress about things. Whether it's her hip or something else. I am not going to deny it, of my many faults, probably my biggest is that I am a control freak!"
Ola: "In the first lockdown, the two of us were pulling our hair out, just not knowing if something was normal or not. But now she is standing, walking… She is becoming more of a little personality now. With a young baby they just lie there, but now she will reach out to us if she wants us to pick her up, and she grabs our face, and smiles at us, so James is really enjoying that."
James: "But she's still not saying Dadda. Hopefully by Christmas she will say Dadda! We all keep saying it to her, even when people phone, they say it over and over, to try and get her to say it, but she is not having any of it."
MORE: 8 Strictly dancer dads cooing over their babies
You're blessed to have Ella after your first attempt at IVF. Are you hoping for a second child?
James: "We are so lucky. I think we would both love to have another child but because of everything we are going through at the moment, I just don't know if it's the right time. But we don't want to miss the boat either."
Ola: "It is really difficult. My mum and dad haven't even met Ella yet. And James' dad is not well. I would like for Ella to have a sibling."
James: "We were very lucky that for us it happened the first time but we know that for lots of people it doesn't."
Ola: "Every time you go through IVF it is mentally hard. You hear of people who have been through it many times without success. Would I be able to go through it ten times? If I'm honest I don't think I would."
James: "In the ideal world we would probably hope to get pregnant again soon but I don't know if it's the right thing, I just don't know…"
Traditionally at Christmas we wish one another health and happiness, but that sentiment seems even more poignant this year?
James: "If you have health and happiness then you have life sorted. I do understand how people are struggling in life, losing loved ones, losing their businesses, having no money but health, happiness and having your family are the most important things."
Ella was born in February
Will you be dressing up as Father Christmas this year for Ella?
Ola, referring to James' hair and beard: "He doesn't need to dress up. We already have Father Christmas!"
James: "It is so long but the more people talk about it, the more I let it grow! It seems to bother other people more than me."
Ola: "And Ella probably wouldn't recognise him now if he had his hair cut!"
To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale on Monday 14 December. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.