Strictly's Ola Jordan reveals toddler Ella's heartache: 'I want my daddy'

It's been an up and down week for HELLO!'s parenting columnists James and Ola Jordan, of Strictly Come Dancing fame.

The couple, who are parents to daughter Ella, aged three, had a sad start to the week as Ola attended the memorial service of former Strictly judge Len Goodman. The couple had known Len since their early dancing days and were extremely fond of the star.

James was unfortunately away at the time of the memorial, however, Ola brought him home a special keepsake from the service.

Toddler Ella missed her daddy loads while he was away – find out how she coped and read about her latest antics in the Jordan household below…

Attending Len Goodman's memorial service

Ola: I went to Len's memorial on Monday. There were a lot of people there and we were invited by Len's wife Sue.

James: Which was an honour. I wasn't there, unfortunately; I was in Portugal. I messaged Sue and said, 'I'm absolutely gutted that I couldn't be there because I would have loved to have been'. I've known Len for over 30 years.

Ola: It was a lovely event… if you can say lovely in that situation. Jimmy Tarbuck was there and he spoke at the memorial.

A painting of Len Goodman at his memorial
A painting of Len Goodman at his memorial

James: It was at a golf club which obviously was very close to Len's heart.

Ola: And Anton (Du Beke) was there with his wife, and Erin (Boag) was there with her husband and Vincent (Simone) as well. So just the four of us from Strictly. It was really, really nice.

There were a lot of golfers there and also dance teachers who we know from our dance business, so it was nice to catch up with everyone.

Derek opens up on Len Goodman
Derek opens up on Len Goodman

James: Ola rang me when I was in Portugal on a planned golf trip with friends that's been in the diary for a long time. She rang me while I was on the golf course and said, 'They've got all of Len's ties on a table and guests can take a tie to remember him by.'

Ola got me one of Len's ties because he was a big part of both of our lives - through our competitive dancing career even way before Strictly. I just wanted something as a memory for me. Len was always massively into his ties.

Ola: It was a lovely thing to have, and there was a memory book so I left a note from myself and James.

James: I was really gutted I couldn't be there, so when Ola rang me and said about the tie, I was actually quite happy.

james ola strictly
james ola strictly

Ella missed her daddy

HELLO!: How is Ella when James goes away?

Ola: She's well behaved and she misses him. She often says, 'Where's my daddy? When is my daddy back? Is my daddy back today?'

I say, 'No Ella, he's back tomorrow or in two days' but she doesn't really have that understanding of days yet. She did ask about him all the time, especially if I tell her off. She gets upset and she goes, 'I want my daddy.'

When he rings, she loves looking at him on the camera. On one of the days his phone call was really quick so I said to him, 'Can you please ring her a bit longer tomorrow?' He did and she loved holding the phone and chatting to him.

James Jordan and daughter Ella cuddle
James Jordan and daughter Ella cuddle

Would Ola and James go on holiday without Ella?

HELLO!: We know you don't like being away from Ella. Do you think you're at the stage where you'd go on a holiday just the two of you?

Ola: Yeah, it's a difficult one... We would love to go away for a night or two and have a lovely weekend, but I'd be there missing my daughter so is it a relaxing time away?

James: But could you go away for a week?

Ola: No, I couldn't. I would never go on holiday without Ella. Maybe for someone's wedding for a couple of days, but not on holiday.

ola jordan james ella holiday
ola jordan james ella holiday

James: What about to Vegas?

Ola: Um, maybe. But then again, it depends on who Ella is left with and whether she's OK. It's one thing going away if your child is happy with whoever you left her with. If she's not happy, then that's not a holiday for me. I'd rather take her with me.

James: She's really listening to us now…

Ella is so cute helping at home

James: You said that Ella was helping a lot around the house when I was away?

Ola: I think she's like James - she likes to keep busy, whatever it is. When she's naughty, it's normally when she's bored and she doesn't know what to do with herself. When you give her things to do, she actually is very helpful.

I got my bins out with the plastic bottles and she said, 'Mummy, can I help you?' I said, 'Of course you can.' So she grabbed the two bins, took them outside and put stuff in the big bin. She said, 'No mummy, I want to do it.' She takes the bins out now! I love it.

James: I'm going to get her to clean my car next…

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

Ola: She's quite tidy as well. In the evening when she takes off her slippers, she puts them by the wall, tidily next to each other. I actually took a picture of it the other day because that's the second time I caught her leaving her slippers like that. She puts her clothes into the washing basket, too.

HELLO!: Ella sounds like the dream three year old.

Ola: I'm sort of proud of myself for teaching her. I mean, it doesn't always happen of course, but she's actually quite good. She even puts the butter on her toast.

HELLO!: Is this stuff Ella is picking up at nursery or what you're teaching her at home?

James: I think a combination of both. They teach the children to put their clothes away when they go in. They put their slippers on and put their shoes away.

Ola: It's a Montessori nursery, so it's all about giving them freedom. She uses a jug of milk and she pours milk into her cup at nursery, and they've got a little fridge there for the kids.

James: Yeah, she is a good little girl.

Ola and James Jordan take Ella to London
Ola and James Jordan take Ella to London

Ella's got loads of energy

James: I say that, but Ella's got this thing at the moment where she will not stop jumping on my sofa in the kitchen and it's driving me mad.

Ola: She just doesn't listen.

James: She just drives me mad that she jumps on it and I don't know how many times I have to tell her not to do it. I'm sure she does it to annoy me sometimes. Ella, why do you jump on mummy and daddy's couch?

Ella: I don't know why.

James: Do I get angry with you? She's nodding. So that drives me mad at the moment, that she will not stop. We do have a trampoline she can jump on but it's outside.

ola and james jordan
ola and james jordan

Ella's second ever sports day

James: This week we've got Ella's sports day. It's her second one. On the first one, she didn't really know what was going on. So I'm going to be training her!

HELLO!: Do they still do the parents' races?

James: Last year I won, but I was very disappointed that I only won by a little bit. I was probably the oldest dad there. I am very competitive - I don't know if you're aware of that (laughs). I used to run for the school as a sprinter, so I thought I was going to win by so much. But as you get older, you realise that you're not as fast as you used to be.

I'm not doing it this time because I'm champion. I'm still champion. I'm going to pull a muscle or something, that's what I'm worried about. Oh, Ola just said she wants me to do the dads' run. But what if I lose? I don't like losing.

Anyway, I'm excited about seeing Ella at her sports day. She's in the blue team. We're going to train later, Ella. me and you… we're going to practice for Sports Day here and then you're going to go really fast.

Ola: Ella, mummy and daddy are going to come and watch you, aren't we? Ha, she's laughing.

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