THEY were known for having two of the hottest bodies on Strictly – so when ex-show dancers Ola and James Jordan flaunted noticeably fuller figures, it caused a storm.
And speaking exclusively to The Sun about the viral snap, the outspoken duo didn’t hold back — with James admitting he wishes his wife was skinnier, y Ola revealing their sex life has suffered because their “bellies get in the way”.
James and Ola — who were on Estrictamente Entre 2006 y 2015 — say they are as shocked as the fans to see how their looks have changed.
Ola has gone from 8st to 11½st, while James has put on a whopping 5st and is now 16st.
But it didn’t stop them sharing the snap, which showed the once perfectly honed pair standing by the pool at their Kent home in their swimwear, subtitulado: “Couples That Eat Together Stay Together”.
James, 44, says of the picture: “We were like, 'Ay Dios mío, we look like fat old people’.
“I’ve just got this massive gut, I call it my overhang.
“And Ola has put on weight too. We’ve got in this position together.”
James admits it is his love of junk food that has led them both astray — and also put a dampener on their bedroom antics.
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Él dice: “I admit it, I’m probably not the best influence on Ola. I love my crisps, my chocolate and junk food.
“I eat it all — Chinese, McDonald’s, Burger King, todo.
“Every night after eating it all, we’d go up to bed and I’m saying to Ola, 'Ay Dios mío, my stomach is so sore’, and then it’s like, 'Bien, see ya in the morning’.”
Ola, 39, continúa: “The sex life is definitely different, if not worse, because we are so fat and don’t want to move after a bag of crisps and a Chinese.
“The bellies get in the way of us when it comes to sex. And I’m a bit heavy now. It’s not as exciting.”
The couple say there is certainly no Dirty Dancing any more — and they definitely could not pull off any of their sexy Strictly routines.
James says: “Sex is definitely not better with the mum and dad bods. I can’t throw her about any more like I am used to doing.
“So we realise we need to switch up our eating habits to get back in shape.
“I would love to hold Ola over my head again.”
Ola adds: “If we practised the Dirty Dancing lift in the pool, I’d make him sink right now.”
But the couple — who met in 1999 and have a dos- year-old daughter, Ella — say they are not looking for sympathy, because their weight gain is all their own fault.
James says: “We know exactly why we’ve got bigger — we’ve eaten more and moved less.
“It’s bad that my gut just hangs over the top of my trousers, it’s like a proper old beer belly.
“And it’s annoying because I’m quite hairy, and sometimes my belly hair gets stuck in my belt, which is really weird.
“It’s bad lifestyle choices we’ve made because of different reasons, like lockdown, we both grieved very heavily with my dad’s death, and I stopped smoking.
“But I’m very honest about it.”
So what of that most taboo question in any relationship — does James fancy Ola less now that she’s piled on the pounds?
Como siempre, he doesn’t hold back, saying: “I will say I prefer Ola smaller. Of course I still love her and fancy her. It is what it is.
“She’s the one now that has taken the steps to speak out about it, so if she then asked me, ‘Thinner or bigger?’ I would say thinner.
“Does it make me a bad person? If it does, then I’m sorry but I think it makes me honest.
“I don’t get it when blokes lie to their other half, saying they look amazing, when they don’t think it in their head.
“I don’t say it to upset her but it’s for health reasons. And I know it’s not just Ola — it’s me too.
“We’ve got into this position together, and hopefully we are going to come out supporting each other.”
And Ola gives as good as she gets, dicho: “Does his dad bod turn me on?
“Yes and no, because I think I love him the way he is, with his big belly, and then you watch Love Island with all the fitties coming in and you go, ‘Phwoar’.
“But would I love it if he was fit again? Bien, yeah.”
And although being supporters of body positivity, Ola, who is 5ft 3in, and James, who is 5ft 9in, want to be clear that they don’t think that should extend to the obese.
James says: “We’re both classed as obese for our height.
“And it feels like you can’t put a name on it any more because people get so offended by the word ‘fat’.
“The term, I suppose, is heavily overweight. I feel that people are promoting being overweight as fine, como, ‘Go on, eat whatever you want. If it makes you feel good, then do it’.
“But they are actually promoting being overweight as body positivity.
“You’re just putting stress on your organs, and that’s a fact.
“We know we need to lose weight for health reasons, and for Ella.
“We would never tell anyone else what to do with their body, but for us this is important.”
Ola adds: “There’s body positivity, and then there’s being fat.
“We don’t want to make anyone feel bad about themselves, but I don’t want to promote that it’s OK for people to be unhealthy.
“It’s not healthy, I don’t feel healthy. I run up the stairs and I’m out of breath — that’s not healthy for me. I am a professional dancer.”
Polish-British Ola says she was “horrified and so disappointed” when she first saw the photo but decided to go public with it to help motivate herself and James to lose some weight.
Ella escribió en Instagram: “I wasn’t going to post this picture but I’ve decided to, because I’m horrified and so disappointed with myself.
“By posting it I’m hoping it will help motivate me to do something about it.
“Our friend took this snap of us yesterday trying to stay cool by the pool but OMG — it was a total shock to say the least!
“When did we get ‘mum and dad bods’?"
Ola adds: “Posting the picture for me was just a wake-up call. It was for me to go, ‘Boom, that’s what I look like, despertar, Ola’.”
When she won the BBC1 dance contest in 2009 with BBC Sport host Chris Hollins, Ola was a size six and weighed 8st.
Now she is around size 12, and 3½st heavier.
Ella dice: “People always saw me as the girl with the nice body wearing a catsuit.
“Then they looked at this picture and went, 'Ay Dios mío, what happened to her?"
“But on Strictly we were doing ten-hour full days of dancing, and after we used to pop into the gym.
“We didn’t have much time to eat, and if we did, we were looking at all the labels on the food.
“I’ve since left that show and had my daughter.
“My body’s changed. I was always curvy with boobs and bum, but now I am very heavy around the middle and my hips.
“I can’t keep blaming lockdown and a baby, because Ella is now two and a half, and lockdown was quite a while ago.
“But I don’t know what happened to James — what’s his excuse!"
James, who weighed around 11½st in his ballroom days, dice: “My body has totally changed since Strictly. I was tiny.
“I’m going to hold my hands up, I’d be watching Love Island with a bag of crisps on my belly and a box of sweets to my right.
“We ended up doing it every day.
“And then neither of us fitted in our clothes. I had to buy elasticated trousers because I’d put on weight so much.
“Sometimes I Google us on Strictly and show Ola a picture and go,
‘That’s what we used to look like’.
“I did also say to Ola that the picture she put up on Instagram will never ever leave. But that’s brilliant motivation.”
Even so, the fact that they are dancing champions does not make it easier for them to shed the pounds.
James says: “People often say to us, ‘It will be fine for you, it’s like muscle memory’.
"No, it’s not. We are still the same as everybody else.
“We know we can’t ever train ten hours a day again, but we know we basically need to move more and stick less in our mouths.”
Now the couple are focused on being active again — including getting back into action on the dance floor.
Ola says: “We can all pretend that I look great, but I’m uncomfortable the way I am.
“I don’t want to embrace my fatness. You have to be honest with yourself.
“I always thought, ‘I’m going to be the fit mum’, and I’m not, and so it’s really sad.
“Now we’re going to try and get out more.”
So could a return to the dance floor be on the cards, once they are ready to slip into their old Lycra outfits?
James thinks so.
Él dice: “It would be amazing to get back to dancing again, and it would be great to be able to lift Ola above my head once more.”