Jordan Banjo reveals fiancée Naomi got sepsis twice after giving birth: ‘It was really scary’

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As OK! catches up with Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely over Zoom, the bond between the best friends is clear to see. With their cheeky banter and friendly nature, it’s no surprise that the Diversity stars have found themselves as the new KISS Breakfast hosts.

The early starts begin next month, and while Jordan, 27, is used to getting up at the crack of dawn with his fiancée Naomi Courts for their children Cass, two, and Mimi, one, Perri says it may be a bit of a struggle!

“The first couple of hours of the show is probably just going to be me moaning about how tired I am,” laughs Perri, 24.

The Dancing On Ice star has been putting his fancy footwork to good use in lockdown, keeping his 1.3 million TikTok followers entertained on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the time off has provided The Greatest Dancer presenter Jordan with the unique opportunity to spend some quality time with his family.

Here, we chat to the pair about wedding planning and why Cheryl Tweedy would be an “awesome” Strictly Come Dancing judge…

  • Ashley Banjo announces his wife has given birth to their second child

  • Perri Kiely offers hilarious piece of advice to new Celebs Go Dating hopefuls

Have you been keeping in touch with your Greatest Dancer co-stars during lockdown, Jordan?

We haven’t done any Zooms but we all chat a lot. Everyone is well. Alesha [Dixon] gives me big sister vibes. Me and her daughter Azura have a secret handshake! I was speaking to Oti [Mabuse] earlier about Cass. I’m surprised she hasn’t kidnapped my children yet; she’s always trying to babysit! She loves them.

Do you think Cheryl would make a good Strictly judge?

She’d be an awesome judge; she’s also the loveliest person. The thing with Cheryl is, she has something that you can’t teach. She’s trained in a lot of different styles. It’s hard because she’s known as a singer, so the moment she’s a dance judge she gets stick for it, which is unfair. Strictly isn’t just about technicality, it’s about performance, presentation and staging as well, which Cheryl knows about all too well.

Who are you still in touch with from Dancing On Ice, Perri?

Trisha [Goddard], Joe [Swash], Libby [Clegg], Vanessa [Bauer] and Alex [Murphy]. I can’t wait to put my skates on again and meet up with them all. I was really shocked to hear Alex wouldn’t be returning. She’s a huge part of the show and the loveliest person. To imagine Dancing On Ice without Alex Murphy really baffles me. I’m gutted about it.

You got engaged in January, Jordan. How are the wedding plans coming along?

The time has flown by. When Mimi was first born, Naomi was really ill and she was in and out of hospital for two months because she got sepsis twice. She was in a really bad way and it was scary. We had just started touring with Diversity, then we got engaged, then filming started for The Greatest Dancer and then we went into lockdown! But we’ve been to look at our first wedding venue now and it was beautiful. We think we’ve found our venue and Naomi has had her dress picked out since she was six. Everything is falling into place.

Perri: I’m the flower girl!

Jordan: You’ll be gorgeous! We think it will be next year. My brother Ashley [Banjo] and Perri will be in the wedding party. Ash being the best man scares me because he doesn’t do things by halves. I was his best man and five minutes into his groom’s speech the lights dipped and a choir walked in! I was thinking, “How am I going to follow that?”

Congratulations on being named the new KISS Breakfast hosts!

Perri: We can’t wait to get started! I used to listen to the show every school morning and I never would have imagined that I would be hosting it with Jord!

Jordan: We’re absolutely buzzing. If you flipped it and looked at it from a TV perspective, we feel like the new Holly and Phil! We’ve got Diversity, which we love, and all the other bits like presenting and doing reality TV that I have really enjoyed, but doing this with Perri is a dream job.

You joked that the show will mean a few hours break from your kids, Jordan…

I have so much respect for full-time parents after lockdown! It’s been really tough but so rewarding. I’m excited to start but a part of me is also gutted because it’s been so special to be home with the kids and Naomi. I never had that before – I missed quite a few things with Cass, like him walking, talking and crawling, as I was always working. So to see all that with Mimi has been incredible. At the start of lockdown, I think the kids were like, “Why is this man still here at 1pm?”

Listen to the all-new KISS Breakfast Show with Jordan and Perri, kicking off Monday 3 August from 6am on weekdays. kissfmuk.com.

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