Day in the Life of a very busy dad... how Ore Oduba handles it all

The Strictly champion has his hands full!

Like many parents, Ore Oduba stopped setting an alarm years ago. The actor, presenter, Strictly Come Dancing champion and father-of-one, who has a second baby on the way with his wife Portia, can always count on his three-year-old son to run into his bedroom at the crack of dawn.

We spoke to Ore as part of our Back to School digital issue, which was guest-edited by Giovanna Fletcher, who knows all too well about striking a balance between work and family time.

READ: Giovanna Fletcher on mum guilt, meeting Kate Middleton and juggling work with raising her three sons

In our exclusive Day in the Life feature, Ore shares his (often hectic) daily routine, which sees him clocking an average of just five hours sleep. We're exhausted just reading it!

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WATCH: Kitchen disco time for Ore Oduba and his adorable son Roman

My alarm goes off at…

I've stopped setting an alarm… Roman is as good as any cockerel, bang on 6.30am he is up and in our bedroom every morning!!!

My first coffee of the day is at…

6.31am. Although I'm trying to stick to healthier herbal teas. Vanilla latté is my kryptonite!

Breakfast is on the table at…

As it's the school holidays it's a little looser. Portia and I like to hit snooze while Roman watches Milkshake! and runs around like a lunatic, banging, building or setting off the panic alarm as he did the other morning. So once that's been reset, I guess anywhere between 7.30am and 9am!


Ore and Portia are expecting their second child

The typical school run goes something like this…

Wake up at 6:30am, get Roman dressed, brush teeth, do a 30-minute home workout, feed Roman his breakfast, have a quick cold shower (if there's time!), brush Roman's teeth, check the clock… Panic, saddle Roman up on the trike, be out the door at 8.10am followed by a 20-minute speed walk up the hill to school. Drop him off, then do a 15-minute walk/warm-down at home… Start thinking about gin. Phew!

READ: Heavily pregnant Alex Jones reveals how labour won't stop her taking her son on first day of school

My typical work day consists of…

I haven't had a typical work day for over five years!!! Which I'm very grateful for, but it does make you wake up in the morning wondering who you are today and rack your brain as to what you do for a living! Currently, it's playing Brad Majors in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

I pick up my son at…

12.30pm or 3.15pm. Roman has a mixture of half days and full days at nursery. Although when the baby's born we hope to up his schedule to five full days a week.


The family go to the playground or feed the ducks after nursery 

My son's after-school routine is…

Based on how tired we can get him before bed! Whether that's a visit to the playground, feeding the ducks or swimming lessons once a week. Often WE'RE the tired ones so we'll have a chilled afternoon where Roman's playing with toys, in the garden or watching his iPad while Mum and Dad are recovering on the sofa!

READ: Andrea McLean's top tips for stressed-out parents and why 'me time' isn't selfish

A typical family dinner sees us doing…

Frustratingly we don't have the chance to do family dinners too often, for a number of reasons. Roman eats at around 5.30pm but if we can on a Sunday we'll eat together. Ro loves to 'help' where he can… you might translate that to 'getting in the way!' But actually it's lovely that he's in the kitchen enjoying himself and getting familiar with cooking. It means I'll be able to get him doing the washing up sooner!! *evil laugh*

In the evenings, we all like to…

Recover! Maybe watch an episode or two of whatever we're into at the time. But mainly recover. Portia and I are always cramming our catch-up into about half an hour over dinner. All the life admin, friends' gossip, and plans for the week that we haven't been able to speak about during the day.


Roman has his dinner at around 5:30pm

I'm in bed by…

1am! Even if we go up to bed at 10.30pm there's always something else to do. My brain does most of its thinking once everyone is asleep. So I find myself drafting emails, thinking up ideas, managing house jobs or planning the next day well into the night.

READ: Sarah Ferguson shares emotional memory from Princess Eugenie's first day of nursery

The hardest part of being a working parent is…

It doesn't stop. Rarely is there a moment to yourself and even when you're sitting down at mealtimes you feel like you've got to wolf it down before the next job needs attention.

The most rewarding part of being a parent is…

Watching our little boy grow up every day. Learning something new, coming out with something random – a new word or phrase we've never heard him use before. And watching him develop into a happy, kind-hearted soul. Helps you know you're doing something right!

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