Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Ola and James Jordan discuss: is it cruel to give kids bizarre names?

The professional dancers chat baby names

jordan family
Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
Share this:

Celebrities are known for giving their children some seriously unusual names – be it names of fruits or cities, or words we've never even heard of.

MORE: Ola Jordan shares adorable bonding moment between James Jordan and baby Ella

HELLO!'s parenting columnists James and Ola Jordan called their daughter Ella, and admit they are pretty traditional when it comes to children's names.

A recent news story revealed one mum gave her son the same first name as his second name: Sean Sean! So what do the former Strictly stars think of that, and what are their views on 'out there' monikers in general?

WATCH: James Jordan tickles daughter Ella and her reaction is the cutest

In their exclusive column below, James and Ola discuss unusual names, how they decided on Ella's name and how James gets Ola and Ella mixed up all the time!

Ola and James on 'out there' baby names

What do you think of names like Sean Sean and other unusual names?

Ola: I think, each to their own if that's what people want, whatever makes you happy to call your child. No-one was going to tell me what to call my child, so I would never tell anyone it's right or wrong.

James: Yeah it's whatever they want but I find it bizarre. People are entitled to call their children what they want, I just feel sorry sometimes for the children. If they've got an odd name and they go to school, they will at some point get bullied about their name. That's just a fact because children bully.

I often hear strange kids' names when we're out and I think to myself, imagine calling your child that.

Ola: For example, Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter's name Apple…

apple martin

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her daughter Apple

James: Would you call your daughter Pear? Where do they get the ideas from? I don't get it. Remember that sketch with Ali G and the Beckhams and they said they called their son Brooklyn because that's where he was conceived. Brooklyn actually sounds good, but we're more traditionalists. Maybe we're boring?!

If I had a boy it would be something like Jack or a strong, what I class as 'normal' name. I know Usain Bolt called his son Thunder Bolt. That's like calling Ella 'Strictly' or something!

People would be like, 'What idiots!' Or if I had a son and called him Michael – Michael Jordan. I'm sure they're all lovely people, I just find it a bit weird. That's my opinion.

And all these fancy ways of spelling names, it's odd. We're just not 'out there' people – but that's what makes the world great, that people are different.

baby ella

Ella with her doting dad

Ola: When we used to do shows, people would ask us for autographs and say, 'Can you write it to my daughter, her name is Louise', for example.

Then you write Louise how you think it's spelt and they get angry with you, 'No, no, no, it's not like that, it's Lo….' I was like, oh my god, I'd already had about five different Louises in the last five minutes!

James: Ola used to get nervous because it's her second language. She'd ask me if I'd write the names and she'd sign it after.

Ola: It used to stress me out when I got the names wrong!

READ: James and Ola Jordan's fears for baby Ella as she grows up

MORE: Game changer gifts for new mums and expectant parents

Choosing Ella's name

Ola: With us and Ella, it was something easy and that when she goes to school she won't be sticking out…

James: Ola wanted to call Ella 'Bella' and I said absolutely not.

Ola: I quite liked Arabella or Annabelle. Annabelle Jordan would go really nicely, but James said it was too long, it would be shortened.

ella bear top

The adorable Ella Jordan

James: Then Ola said, 'Let's call her Bella'. We pondered over it for a couple of days and then I went, 'Absolutely not. My daughter can't be BJ.'

Ola: She'd be laughed at in school

James: People still pick up on that. It's something really silly because we both really liked Bella but there was no way I was going to have a daughter with those initials.

Ola: So we took the B off and called her Ella. And Ella's middle name is Amelia after my great grandmother.

James: I always forget it…

[at this point Ella does a bit of screaming in the background]

James: She's got such an attitude. I'm scared of my own daughter!! A friend of mine has 10 grandsons and one granddaughter and she is harder work than all of the boys!

She's feeling a bit sorry for herself because she's got a cough and she was up all night. It's a Calpol and hugs day.

Mixing up Ella and Ola

James, do you ever get mixed up with Ella and Ola?

James: Yes all the time!! I do often call them by each other's names. That was probably a slight mistake on our behalf because it is more confusing sometimes for me than I realise. I've only got a little brain!

When I call the wrong person it's a bit annoying, and sometimes I end up telling Ola off instead of Ella!! Ola's like, 'What have I done?!'

jordan family

James and Ola with daughter Ella

Does Ella have a nickname?

Ola: No, I still call her my baby and she thinks she's 'Baby Ella'. She calls herself that! She's almost two but I call her my baby.

James: Ella's talking a lot more now. She got up this morning, sat on a chair, the sun was shining in her eyes and she said 'Sun, down' to bring the blind down. Then she said 'Cup of tea'. She's very chatty.

Ola: When I put her to bed, she sits there, has her cup of milk and tells me her whole day. She chats so much. In the end, I go, 'Ella you've got to sleep!'

Do you have a parenting question or topic you'd love Ola and James to discuss in their HELLO! column? Get in touch by emailing us at:

More Parenting

See more