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Ola and James Jordan's scare at the zoo with baby Ella – see new video

Catch up on the Strictly stars' parenting column

ola james jordan
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
July 16, 2021
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Former Strictly stars Ola and James Jordan treated their baby girl to a day at a theme park this week – and little Ella had the best time.

At just 16 months old, the tot surprised her famous parents by being quite the thrill seeker and taking the rides at Chessington World of Adventures in her stride. You can see all the fun in our exclusive video below.

There was also a heart-stopping moment for the family when Ella met a real lion who wasn't too happy!

MORE: Ola and James Jordan share video of Ella's bedroom and reveal her love of dancing

WATCH: The Jordan family's day out at a theme park

Plus, Ola tells us all about her heartache over missing her parents who live in Poland and how she's planning a trip to see them soon.

Catch up with the Jordan family's latest column here…

Ella's trip to Chessington

Ola and James had a ball with baby Ella at Chessington this week, introducing her to all the animals at the zoo and enjoying some fun rides.

James tells us: "We went to the zoo first to see all the animals – we thought that was the most important thing for Ella. She really enjoyed it.

"She was quite baffled by the zebras, all the colours, so she liked that. She also liked the monkeys and the penguins."

MORE: Ola Jordan shares adorable photo with lookalike baby Ella

ella and dad

Dad James with Ella at the zoo

But there was a slightly scary incident at the lion enclosure – more so for Ola and James than Ella, though!

Ola says: "The lion went for Ella big time behind the glass! James was holding her by the glass and I was taking pictures, and then as I went to film it the lion went for her and I missed it."

James adds: "The lion's mouth was open, big time. Ella didn't even flinch." 

"She would have been eaten!" says Ola. Thank goodness for the glass barrier - and we're amazed at Ella's bravery.


Ella meets the lion!

Ola tells us: "I find with Ella, that she's quite emotional. If there's an emotional song on Baby TV, she gets upset and a bit teary-eyed - but she'd not a scaredy-cat."

Ella loved the rides

Ella's bravery didn't stop there – she also loved all the rides at the theme park.

James says: "She loved them, especially the flying elephants ride. I was thinking she'd really kick-off and I'd have to stop the ride but she kept making me push the button to go up."

elephant ride

James and Ella go on a ride together

Ola adds: "Ella loved the Gruffalo ride. I was wondering if she'd be scared because of the dark and the voices but she loved it actually. She cried when she left it as she wanted to go back on!"

"Yeah she's a thrill-seeker," reveals James. "I took her on the elephant ride twice but she was still crying when she came off. She would have gone on again and again and again."

MORE: James and Ola Jordan's fans react to their epic garden with holiday villa vibes


Mum and Ella enjoying their day out

Is this the start of Ella's love of theme parks?

Ola says: "She seems to love the rides so we're going to definitely try some more theme parks like Legoland and Peppa Pig World."

And mum and dad went on a few adult rides too.

We ask how Ella reacted to seeing her parents on a rollercoaster? "I don't think she understood where we went," tells Ola. "Or she just didn't care!"

Ella's super long nap

All that fun made for one very sleepy Ella.

"She slept for two hours!" recalls Ola. "With all the noise going on there… the most fun day out and then she's asleep for two hours."

"And we never get her to sleep for two hours," says James. "We'll have to make more noise at home when she goes to sleep. I honestly think that she can subconsciously hear things in the background so she knows she's not alone and then she feels comfortable."


Cool Ella chills in the car

Talking of sleep, Ola and James are celebrating because Ola is finally sleeping through the night.

"The last few days she's been sleeping through the whole night until about 7am," beams Ola.

James adds: "She's been going to bed a bit later because she's so awake in the early evening - so she's been going to bed at 9 or 10pm. I know it's not necessarily right for their sleep pattern, but if it means her going to bed a bit later, I don't care."

The couple are revelling in their newfound energy. "I feel like a different person, I feel alive!" says Ola.

Ella's very busy time at church

Anyone with small children knows what a challenge it can be to keep their behaviour under control in a church – and that was James and Ola's challenge of the week when they went to the Holy Communion of James' niece.

James says: "It was an hour's service and for the first 20 minutes Ella stayed put and was brilliant – and then she got bored.

"So Ella was just walking around the church while the priest was doing his sermon. I was like, 'Oh, what are people going to think, that we've just let our baby just run off on her own?"

ella dress

Ella all dressed up in her pretty frock

"But she was fine, she wasn't doing anything wrong," tells Ola. "She was just walking up and down the aisle. You can't do anything – it's better than squeezing her on your lap and her screaming."

James tells us: "I get all embarrassed. It's not that I really care what people think, it's that I know what I might have thought. She was waving at people as she walked past them!"

We ask if they are planning a christening for Ella?

Ola reveals: "I'm Catholic and I'd like to have Ella's christened, but obviously we haven't done that yet because of Covid - and also I would like my mum and dad to be here. So I'm sort of waiting for that to happen. I think it will happen next year."

Ola missing her family

Ola's parents are in Poland and she's missing them terribly.

"I'd like to see my mum and dad soon," she says. "I know Poland is still on the Amber list but if I'm going to have to quarantine, then I'll have to. It's got to the point where I've got to book the tickets and go."

James adds: "I'm all for going out when the time is right, but it's ok for some things and not for others. Ola's parents haven't seen our first baby for 16 months because we're trying to keep everyone safe including ourselves – but you can go to a football match. It winds me up."

"My parents are missing us a lot," says Ola. "My dad had a big knee operation so he's at home now and on crutches, so I don't think they'll be coming here any time soon.

"I feel like I have to see them this year. I can't go through another Christmas not seeing them."

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