JAMES JORDAN might have awed viewers with his ripped new physique on Dancing On Ice – but his wife is gutted as she prefers him FAT.
As a result, the former Strictly Come Dancing professional, who lost 2st for the show, has been missing out in the bedroom.
In an exclusive interview James, who has been married to fellow former Strictly star Ola for 15 years, said: “I would love to tell you that we’ve been going at it like rabbits since I lost all the weight but the opposite is the truth.
“It’s nice that I can see it again and bound up the stairs, but our love life has taken a beating. Ola actually prefers me more thickset.”
In fact, James, 40, says Ola, 36, went out and stocked up on his favourite foods last month in a bid to beef him back up.
He told us: “If there is food in front of me I’m eating it.
“I scoffed the lot in a couple of days so she had to go out and buy it all again.”
But James was in fine form in Sunday’s opening episode of the ITV skating show, with his spectacular jazz-themed routine alongside pro Alexandra Schauman, 38, sending him top of the leaderboard.
It was a dazzling return to the top for James, who quit Strictly in 2013 after eight series — and quickly piled on the pounds.
Soon he was so overweight and inflexible that he could no longer bend down to tie his own shoelaces.
James explained: “I have been skinny for most of my life and worked really hard but after I quit Strictly I wanted to enjoy life.
“I stopped exercising and would eat out all the time and socialise with friends.
“Indian takeaway is one of my favourites and I would often order a prawn dhansak with egg-fried rice and naan bread. I also ate a lot of fast food like KFC.
“I’ve had to work hard to lose the weight I put on and I’m now down to about 13st.
“I was around 15st before I started training three months ago. I lost it by running three miles a day and watching what I eat.
“I am down to about 1,200 calories a day from 4,000 calories at my worst and Ola is now cooking me lots of healthy food like grilled chicken.
“I do feel better in myself because the overhanging belly is gone and I have got some of my flexibility back so I can bend over and tie my shoelaces again.
“But I am 40 years old and I will never be in the shape again that I was when I competed on Strictly.
“I have arthritis in both hips and my hands and I actually need an operation on my hips that I’m putting off because it will take me out of the game for 18 months.
“I’ve been taking Nurofen when the pain gets too bad and the doctor is considering prescribing me something.
“I hate getting older, to be honest. There are times when I pass the mirror and catch sight of myself and think, ‘Who the hell is that?’ ”
But when he became one of the first contestants to take to the ice last Sunday he certainly covered up any aches.
His routine to I Won’t Dance by Michael Buble and Jane Monheit received 30.5 points from the panel — one of the highest opening-week scores in the show’s history.
Judge Jason Gardiner called the dance “beautiful”, while Jayne Torvill declared: “That has to be one of the best performances I’ve seen in week one.”
Some fans however immediately started lashing out on Twitter, claiming it was unfair for James to be competing against celebrities from non-dance backgrounds. He has hit back and revealed he has battled through pain and paralysing fear to compete on the hit ITV show.
And he said he is constantly terrified of being injured or making a fool of himself.
He told the The Sun on Sunday: “People need to understand how bad I was when I started preparing for this three months ago. I was ‘cling on to the edge of the ice rink’ bad.
“I was so useless I actually phoned my parents to ask if I had ever been ice skating before. They told me, ‘We took you once when you were a kid but you fell over and hit your head and we couldn’t get you to go again after that’.
“I am still terrified of ice skating to be honest. Every time I build up any speed I feel out of control.
“And when I lift Alex I am paranoid about dropping her because I am convinced that if I do drop her I am going to kill her.”
The controversy over James’s dance experience erupted on social media within minutes of the show starting.
One viewer raged: “Give the prize already to James Jordan — don’t bother wasting your money voting please. We know who will win.”
Another fan said: “It’s like putting Mary Berry as a contestant on MasterChef!”
Kent-born James, whose parents Sharon and Alan taught at a local dance school, began taking dance classes aged ten. He started competing aged 14 and was soon taking part in international competitions.
In 1999 he partnered up with Polish ballroom dancer Ola Grabowska on the dance floor — and the pair started dating the following year.
They married in 2003 and both became pros on Strictly Come Dancing for the fourth series of the BBC1 hit in 2006.
James never won the show — in which he was partnered with celebs including Vanessa Feltz and Denise van Outen — and he quit in 2013. Ola retired after the 2015 series.
He is now hoping for better luck as a contestant against competitors including reality stars Wes Nelson and Gemma Collins, singer Brian McFadden and Loose Women panelist Saira Khan.
And he is praying that the furore on Twitter does not affect his public vote, and that most viewers recognise he has had to work hard on his ice skills.
He insisted: “It’s completely unfair to say that having me on the show makes it a fix. What people don’t realise is that the way you move your body on ice is completely different to how you move it as a dancer.
“If I positioned my feet the way I dance in the same way on skates I would fall on my face.
“So I’ve had to re-learn everything. Yes, I have improved since I started training but so have all the other contestants. And what I’ve learned is that ice skating is really, really difficult.
“At the beginning I was wearing all the hockey gear like knee pads because I had a massive fear of falling over and breaking something.
“It took me at least a month to get over that and develop some confidence, but I still worry about losing my balance.
“I want to skate faster and be more graceful but just turning on skates is scary and it really hurts when you fall. And my background actually counts against me in some ways.
“There are a huge number of things they have asked me to do that I simply can’t because my body is so beat up from all the years of dancing.”
James admits the backlash has added pressure to his time on the show.
He said: “Ola is very nervous for me as she knows how much stress I have been under.
“I am a very competitive person and from day one I’ve been determined not to make a fool of myself or suffer a serious injury.
“Part of me is loving being on Dancing On Ice as I’m learning a new skill.
“And while I wouldn’t say I was jaded with dancing, it did start to feel a bit routine.
“But part of me can’t wait for all this to be over.”