Exclusive: James and Ola Jordan in heated debate about using buggy for daughter Ella, 3

·8-min read

Former Strictly stars James and Ola Jordan got into an online debate this week over using a buggy for their three-year-old daughter Ella.

Many parents will relate to the dancers' predicament… what do you do when a tired toddler refuses to continue walking when you're on a long stroll? Do you have a fraught stand off with a possible tantrum, carry them, or take the buggy as a backup? James and Ola have strong feelings on the issue, which you can read about below.

Also in this week's HELLO! column from the Jordan family, hear about their fun family day out where Ella made a famous playmate – and watch footage of their London trip in our exclusive video.

Sweet Ella is also becoming more and more independent, but dad James asks, is she TOO independent?

Catch up on James, Ola and Ella's news here

Ella's nursery artwork

James: She was hiding behind me when I dropped her off this morning. She doesn't cry any more when she goes in, she just wants extra cuddles. Then when she went in she said, 'Have a lovely day daddy'.

HELLO!: What does Ella like doing at nursery?

Ola: Ella loves going outside at nursery.

James: She brings home loads of paintings all the time and says, 'I did this for you'. She's quite good at colouring in. She's even using scissors now, which I don't know how I feel about. Should a three-year-old use scissors? I don't know.

Ola: We get lots of bits of paper she's cut up.

James: And one day will it be her finger? No, I'm sure it's fine.

Ella Jordan loves going to nursery now
Ella Jordan loves going to nursery now

HELLO!: What do you do with the artwork she brings home?

James: Honestly?

Ola: If it's really nice or special I keep it… but I recycle the rest. She brings home A LOT. It's physically impossible to keep it all. I kept her Mother's Day artwork because it's the first thing she made at nursery.

 MORE: Exclusive: James and Ola Jordan thrilled as daughter Ella overcomes her fear

Ella's big day out and the buggy debate

Ola: On Sunday we went to see the Winnie the Pooh show in London. We got the train early in the morning, which was exciting for Ella.

We went with some friends and Ella's best friend Todd. I told her the evening before, 'You're going to see Todd tomorrow' but she was so excited that she didn't want to sleep – even at 2am she woke up asking if we were seeing Todd now! I wish I hadn't told her.

Then in the morning, she woke up crying saying, 'We didn't see Todd mummy, we didn't see him.' I went, 'No, we're going now to see him.' So we went up to London on the train and the underground.

James: Ella liked it, but she kept putting her hands over her ears. And we didn't take a buggy – for the people who don't like us using buggies.

A woman recently commented on Instagram about us putting Ella in a buggy for our walk in Ashdown Forest, saying she should be walking at age three. The walk was a long way and the organisers of the event suggested we bring a buggy with us for Ella; it was either I carry her, or we use a buggy.

Ola: The debate got really heated, to a point where other followers defended us.

James: So yes, we didn't take the buggy and it was fine, although we did have to carry her a bit. She can't keep up, especially in the Tube when you're going up the stairs with hundreds of other people like cattle.

Ola: She's so little, people don't see her.

James: It was a long day for Ella – we left at 7am and got back about 9pm at night.

 MORE:Exclusive video: James and Ola Jordan unveil first look at new home - and Ella's reaction is golden

Ella makes a famous friend

Ola: Ella loved the show. We saw Pasha Kovalev there who used to dance with us on Strictly and his wife Rachel Riley.

James: Their daughter Maven is almost the same age as Ella, and as soon as they met, they were off running with each other. It was so sweet.

Ola: They were cuddling and everything.

Ella Jordan with Pasha and Rachel's daughter Maven
Ella Jordan with Pasha and Rachel's daughter Maven

James: I've known Pasha for years. I've always got on very well with him, he's a sweet guy. Rachel was one of my favourites on Strictly too, she's lovely. We had a nice chat with them.

Ola: When James left Strictly, I danced with Pasha for two years as a professional partner on the show.

James: Alex Jones, who I danced with on Strictly, was there with her three children. We were saying, 'Oh my god, how life's changed.' Vanessa Feltz was there too, another one of my old dance partners.

James: After that we got a bite to eat at McDonald's then we took Ella to the Peter Rabbit experience in Covent Garden. She really liked it. You go to different places in Covent Garden to meet the characters. It was cute.

Then we went to the Rainforest Café. We got one of those rickshaws where you have a driver and you sit in the back. They had music blaring. Ella LOVED it. I picked the loudest one.

Ella Jordan visits the Rainforest Cafe
Ella Jordan visits the Rainforest Cafe

Ella the Duracell Bunny

HELLO!: Ella must have been shattered after such a busy day!

Ola: Oh my god, we got on the train at 8pm and she was still going, chatting to us.

James: I messaged Todd's dad and he said as soon as they got on the train, he fell asleep. Then they took him from the train to the car, to bed and he didn't wake up. Ella… she's another level.

Ola: She got home, brushed her teeth, had a chat and then she went to bed.

James: But she fell asleep in nine minutes. We timed it. We fell asleep in 10 minutes.

Ola: We were exhausted! Ella slept all night and we didn't wake her up till 9am. Of course, she came into our bed halfway through the night at 2.30am, but that's standard.

James: I honestly think we'll be doing this column for another 15 years before she sleeps in her own bed all night haha. Imagine, I'll be 60 something going, 'No, she still came in last night.'

Gymnastics star Ella

James: Ola took Ella to gymnastics last week because I sprained my wrist. My friend and I were messing about having a boys' playfight – he punched me and I punched him in the shoulder and sprained my wrist because he's like a brick wall.

Ola: This is why when you're old, you shouldn't be play fighting with your friends. He's been going on and on about it.

James: It's still really painful now. Anyway, I couldn't lift Ella up so Ola had to go to gymnastics with her. Ella was amazing – I was watching from outside.

Ola: She was on a high beam walking from one side to the other with her arms out. The only problem is that when they do the warm up she gets so bored.

James: She likes doing what she wants to do.

The Jordans enjoyed London together
The Jordans enjoyed London together

Ella gets independent

James: Ella doesn't really have tantrums now but she does cry if she doesn't get her own way.

Ola: Like if you walk in front of her down the stairs, she doesn't like that. 'Mummy, mummy, you've got to wait!'

James: Honestly, she likes to be in control. When you clean her teeth, she has to do it first before you do it. She'll go and choose her outfit and get dressed on her own too. I know that probably a lot of kids do it but it surprises me that she's so independent at age three. She's a bit too independent, to the point where we don't even have a say, which is not good either.

Ola: She wanted to wear her wellies instead of shoes to nursery today. She said, 'Mummy it's raining outside,' so I let her. She wanted to wear a different coloured jumper to the one I chose for her as well. Sometimes you have to listen to her.

James: She's got the biggest personality and she's so switched on, but she still acts like a crybaby to get her own way. Apparently, I was a crybaby as a kid as well though.

Ola: You still are! You still cry if you don't get your own way, don't you? [laughs]

James: This conversation's not going how I wanted it to…

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