Ore Oduba: I’m living every moment of Strictly this year

The reigning Strictly champ talks family, favourite TV shows and his prized Glitterball

Ore Oduba (Getty, EH)

As the 2016 winner of Strictly, are you watching it this year?


I’m living every single moment. I barely sat down last weekend while it was on. If there’s a slight mistake, my heart sinks and beats unhealthily fast. Even before the titles run, I can feel what the dancers are feeling. What would be funny is if someone filmed me, Gogglebox-style, watching Strictly. It’s like a one-man-band of weird.

That doesn’t sound healthy, Ore…

The first live show clashed with my best friend’s wedding. It was incredibly inconsiderate of him. I was his best man, so there was one point when I was having to sprint across the courtyard to watch Strictly. The groom did understand that it was for work – I write a Strictly column and do a podcast. But it was like something out of Four Weddings and a Funeral – running from the speeches to catch Shirley Ballas’s first critique.

Do you wish you were on Strictly again yourself?

I’m not pining to be doing it again, but if there’s something I miss it’s the camaraderie and the backstage atmosphere. There’s nothing like that buzz.

What other TV do you watch?

Portia [his wife, TV researcher Portia Oduba] and I went crazy for Doctor Foster. Suranne Jones is an absolute dynamo. Truth be told, we went crazy for it at the start, but in the middle episodes we thought, “Where is this taking us?” But the finale was sensational. The whole series was really tense, you couldn’t move and you had to make sure you’d finished your dinner beforehand or it’d be cold. I also love a bit of Lord Sugar in The Apprentice and Graham Norton on a Friday night. I rush home to catch it. Proper star quality, it’s out on its own as the best chat show we’ve got. Graham is totally the draw.

You’ve got a baby on the way…

Yes! There are now three of us – Portia, me and the bump. We spend time after work connecting as a three. It’s about 9pm by the time we’re both home and Portia’s been to the gym, so we spend time together then, having dinner and watching TV. Portia’s spent all day with the bump and it’s nice for me to be able to see it kicking and moving and bouncing around in the crazy shapes it creates.

Are you ready to watch all those shows on CBeebies?

That won’t be a problem. I think I’ll be one of those parents who lets their kid watch some TV and ends up staring at the programme, too.

What’s the view from your sofa?

We have a nice-sized TV in a big cabinet covered in wedding pictures of our friends. My photograph with David Beckham has pride of place and there’s a lovely thank you card from [Strictly pro dancers] Janette and Aljaz after their wedding.

We recently moved into this property in north London that’s quite high up, so we have a really lovely view of the skyline. At night it’s even more spectacular, with the whole of the city lit up. There’s a Glitterball sitting on the windowsill and it’s sometimes like a disco in here when it catches the light. I can also see the laundry. You go from the sparkly Glitterball to my underwear. I think that sums up home, doesn’t it? Glitterballs to pants.

Ore Oduba is sitting in for Claudia Winklemen on Radio 2 until Christmas. He is also presenting Claimed and Shamed, Mon-Fri 9.15am BBC1


He will also be performing a Gene Kelly song and dance for Children in Need on Friday 17th November on BBC1