James Jordan: 'Graeme would have won if he'd been on the show ten years ago' (Exclusive)

The former Strictly dancers say they were both rooting for cricketer Graeme Swann. (PA Images)
The former Strictly dancers say they were both rooting for cricketer Graeme Swann. (PA Images)

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers and married couple Ola and James Jordan revealed to us that they were both rooting for the just ousted cricketer Graeme Swann on this year’s Strictly.

Swann became the ninth celebrity to get voted out on Sunday night, and James told us that he thinks he’d have fared better on earlier years of the show when the competition was less fierce.

“If Graeme had been in the show ten years ago he would have won!” the dancing pro said.

“This year is just another level! It’s incredible to watch,” he added.

And while our interview took place before Swann was eliminated Ola said that she would have liked to have seen Swann win the series.

“He’d have a better chance if the others weren’t so good! I would love to see someone like Graeme win because he’s not used to dancing and has no training as he’s a sportsman,” Ola said.

Swann was the ninth celebrity to be eliminated on Strictly. (BBC Pictures)
Swann was the ninth celebrity to be eliminated on Strictly. (BBC Pictures)

Indeed, this year has had several trained dancers on the celebrity talent line-up, which has caused some criticism from viewers. Graeme even took a swipe at his competitor Ashley Roberts‘ ’25 years of experience’ upon his elimination.

But James says the show gets the same feedback year after year, and believes that celebrities with some dance experience are essential for the show to work.

“It happens every single year without fail there will be trained dancers on there. If you don’t have the people that are trained on there you can’t have the live shows. You can’t have everyone looking like Anne Widecombe and John Sergeant. While they are amazing entertainment you need the good dancers as well.”

Yet he still doesn’t think Roberts, who is perhaps easily the strongest dancer on the show, will win.

“Ashley is the best. But I’m not sure if she will get the public’s support when she gets to the final,” he said.

Would either consider returning to the BBC show? It’s a firm no from both. While Ola currently judges the Polish version of Strictly Come Dancing James joked that he’d only return to an ‘OAP’ version of Strictly.

Ola and James on Strictly Come Dancing in 2009. (PA Images)
Ola and James on Strictly Come Dancing in 2009. (PA Images)

“I’m too old now! I like watching it from the comfort of my home. If they do a senior one, an OAP Strictly then maybe I’d go back but I’m not standing next to Giovanni with his shirt half done!”

What’s next for the dancing pair? They’ve just achieved a World Guinness Record for the world’s largest disco dance in conjunction of the release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! The pair orchestrated a flash disco dance at Waterloo, London, for which there were over 300 participants.

They talked to us about their love of the movie, and James even joked that he’d have loved Lily James to have been on Strictly.

“Lilly James – she was gorgeous. So beautiful. I wish she had been on Strictly!” he said.

He also said he liked the movie even more than its predecessor, Mamma Mia!

“It’s unusual for the second to be better than the first but in this case I really felt it was. It has a real feel good factor which is particularly important when we consider what is going on in the world at the moment.”

And of course James also has January’s Dancing On Ice debut coming up – for which he says the training is proving to be particularly challenging.

“I thought it would be a lot easier than what it was. I am struggling! I am only starting to enjoy it. At the beginning I was coming home and telling Ola I really don’t like it! This is scary! I think it’s an age thing. As you get older you get older you get more scared about falling.”

He even says he’s made a good new friend – none other than Gemma Collins.

“I’d never met Gemma before doing the show. You base your opinions on people you haven’t met you base it on what you’ve seen on TV. But when I met her in person she’s the most adorable person. And me and her get on really, really well.”


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