Ore Oduba has joked that he was the “victim of the Strictly curse” due to the friendship that developed between his dance partner Joanne Clifton and wife Portia.
The BBC sports presenter was crowned the champion of Strictly Come Dancing in last weekend’s grand finale with professional dancer Joanne after four months of hard graft on the dance floor.
Ore and Portia brushed off speculation about the so-called “curse”, which has seen marriages and relationships ruined when celebrities fall for their dance partners on the popular BBC One dancing show.
During an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women together, Portia was asked if she was concerned about her marriage to Ore due to his taking part in the series, less than one year after their wedding.
She said she did not have any major worries about her husband falling for dancer Joanne, but that initially it was something she had in her mind.
Portia said: “You know what, going into it, it is at the back of your mind because it is something that always crops up every year, but as soon as I met Jo, I was like, ‘wow’.
“I’m not just saying that. She was amazing, and your partner makes your whole experience. It can make it or it can break it. We were so lucky in the fact it made it for us.”
Asked if she and Joanne got along, Portia said: “Massively! We were going out for dinner, we were texting, we were talking about make-up and clothes.”
Ore, laughing, said: “I was the third wheel!
“There was a lovely moment towards the end of the series where Portia had work and she came and joined Jo and me after a session and we went into town. (Strictly) sweeps you up: I hadn’t had a chance to do anything work-wise, admin-wise – boring life admin.
“So I left training and I was on my phone for a bit and the next thing I looked up and Portia and Jo were 100 yards down the road just yapping.”
He said: “I was the victim of the Strictly curse!”
Ore said he was “incredibly lucky” to have Jo and his wife become such close friends throughout the experience.
The TV presenter, 30, fended off competition from former singer Louise Redknapp and soap actor Danny Mac to win the Strictly glitterball trophy.