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Exclusive: James Jordan upset about dads' race at daughter Ella's sports day: 'We had to skip'

Former Strictly dancers James and Ola chat about their week with toddler Ella


James Jordan and daughter Ella© instagram
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
June 2, 2023
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We hope you're ready for this week's column HELLO! readers, because James Jordan is not impressed with the modern-day sports day.

James and Ola's three-year-old daughter Ella took part in her nursery sports event this week and had a ball, however, things didn't go so well for her famous dad who had a bit of an incident in the dads' race that got him all riled up.

The family also spent a fun day together at Thomas Land and you can see what they got up to in our exclusive video below. 

WATCH: Ella Jordan has a ball at Thomas Land with mum and dad

Catch up on the Jordans' week here…

Ella adores her new garden

Ola: Yesterday Ella was outside in the garden and we couldn't actually get her into the house to go to bed.

She had dinner then she went outside and was playing in the cold – she came in and said, 'Mummy, can I have some gloves?' She was getting cold but didn't want to stop playing by herself. It's just so nice seeing her playing in the garden now.

MORE:  Exclusive: James and Ola Jordan's toddler Ella gives HELLO! tour of their new home - video 

Ella Jordan looks at a rainbow
Ella Jordan loves to play outside

Ella loved her sports day

Ola: Ella was really good at her nursery sports day! We'd done training with her before and during the event she looked at us and we were going, 'Come on, come on!' and she suddenly sped up. She was really going for it; it was so cute.

HELLO!: Ella, what was the best bit of your sports day?

ELLA: Jumping!

James: She got a gold medal. Well, they all did – they're all winners nowadays aren't they.

Ella got a medal at her sports day
Ella got a medal at her sports day

Ola: The thing is, in life, you're not going to win at everything and some people are better at one thing than others. At school I was the worst runner ever – you'd never have thought I'd become a dancer. But if I was the worst runner, why should I get a medal like everyone else?

James: Like on sports day when you run against the other mums… should I even clap you?!

Ola: Listen, I gave it a good go! I didn't realise how competitive all the mums were. I thought I'd take part because Ella wanted me to. The other mums really went for it.

James: You were probably one of the older ones though…

Ola: Oi! I'm in very good nick, thank you. They were so competitive. I wasn't first but I wasn't last either.

HELLO: Were there any parent injuries?

Ola: Not this year. Apparently last year there were a few hamstrings pulled and someone fell over.

James and Ola Jordan with daughter Ella
James and Ola Jordan with daughter Ella

The dads' race debacle

James: I was the champion in the dads' race last year. I did say to Ola that I didn't feel it was necessary for me to compete against the same people again because I was the best.

Ola: Oh, listen to this… So, the dads race this year… all the dads were going up and James went, 'OK, if I have to'.

James: No I didn't. I didn't want to do it.

Ola: Whatever.

James: You said, 'Should daddy do the race Ella?' She asked Ella so much that eventually, I agreed.

james jordan ella
Ola and James' daughter is a natural on camera

Ola: Anyway, he went to do it and the race started and idiot James is off running and all the dads were told to skip!!

James: But I didn't know. I thought it was the same as last year, running. Maybe someone complained that I was going to win [laughs].

So I was running and thought, 'Why am I so fast?' I looked back and there was a load of blokes skipping towards me all shouting at me, 'You're supposed to be skipping!'

I thought, I can't win now so I had to slow down and let them all skip in front of me. It was the skipping race.

This is what this world has come to… men aren't allowed to run anymore; we have to skip.  It actually hurt me that I had to skip.

HELLO!: How is your skipping?

James: I'm actually quite a good skipper. You have to remember I'm a dancer.

HELLO!: Were you disqualified?

James: No, I just made sure I finished nearly last. 

Ella goes to Thomas Land – but don't mention the car journey

James: After sports day, we got in the car and drove straight to Birmingham to go to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor. It was brilliant there and there were no queues.

Ola: We went with friends, Ella's friend Todd and we stayed in a hotel there Friday night.

Ella with her friend Todd
Ella with her friend Todd
Ella Jordan went to Thomas Land
Ola Jordan went to Thomas Land

James: It was supposed to be a two-hour journey but it took five hours! To be fair, Ella was really good in the car. I, however, wasn't very good. At the end, I had a bit of a temper tantrum. Why was that Ola?

Ola: Because I was directing him from Google Maps but he wasn't listening to me.

James: She was telling me where to go but she told me to turn right instead of left and it added an extra half hour to our journey.

Ola: I made a genuine mistake, and it wasn't half an hour; it was 10 minutes.

James: OK, I may have exaggerated.

Ola: And the air con wasn't working well so we were all hot.

HELLO!: Literally every couple in the UK relates to you right now.

James and Ella had a fun day
James and Ella had a fun day

Ola: Anyway, Ella had a great time at Thomas Land. We stayed in a themed room in the hotel and she had a bunk bed with her own TV – she loved it. She went, 'Mummy this is my bed.'

Then we went to the park the next morning and we stayed there until about 5pm. It was a lovely day with lots of fun rides. Ella doesn't normally sleep in the day but she napped in the buggy around lunchtime.

Ola and Ella at Thomas Land
Ola and Ella at Thomas Land

On being an older parent

HELLO!: Did you see the news that Al Pacino is becoming a dad again at age 83?

James: Wow! That's something.

Who are we to judge though because we're older parents. We're classed as geriatric parents, aren't we? Forty years ago people would have said we're way too old to have a child. But things have changed. Al's got so much money, I'm sure that child is going to have such a great life. 

My honest opinion? It seems a bit weird but each to their own, right? I see some crazy stuff going on in the world and people are frowning on an older guy having a kid? Nothing shocks me anymore.

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