James Cracknell PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Strictly star, 47, CONFIRMS relationship with new girlfriend Jordan Connell as the couple share a kiss… one month after divorce from ex-wife
- Jordan Connell, in her 30s, is a Cambridge University finance student and a member of the university ‘Cougars’ cheerleading team
- Olympic rower James announced the end of his 17-year marriage to TV host Beverley Turner, mother of his three children, in April
- The former couple were granted a decree nisi in July
Strictly star James Cracknell has confirmed his relationship with new girlfriend Jordan Connell as the couple shared a kiss on Saturday.
The Olympic rower, 47, looked completely at ease as he strolled along hand-in-hand with the pretty blonde cheerleader, who is in her early 30s, during a sun-soaked afternoon at Battersea Park in London.
James’ sweet display with the New Yorker comes just one month after he announced his divorce from ex-wife TV host Beverley Turner, 45, to whom he was married for 17 years.
IT’S OFFICIAL! On Saturday afternoon Strictly star James Cracknell, 47, confirmed his relationship with new girlfriend Jordan Connell, who is in her 30s
Jordan looked effortlessly chic in a pretty floral midi dress and flat black dolly shoes as she and her beau – who met while studying at Cambridge – spent the afternoon relaxing together.
The former finance student appeared to be make-up free for their romantic day in the sunshine, with her blonde locks styled into natural waves.
James kept things simple for their weekend together, with the father-of-three stepping out in a pair of jeans and a plain white T-shirt.
The sportsman – who is gearing up to appear in the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing – put on a tactile display, softly touching his girlfriend’s leg as they sat on a park bench.
Sealed with a kiss: The Olympic rower and the pretty blonde cheerleader shared a kiss
Pretty: Jordan looked effortlessly chic in a pretty floral midi dress as she and her beau spent the afternoon relaxing together
Sweet moments: The sportsman put on a tactile display, softly touching his girlfriend’s leg as they sat on a park bench
A case of the ex: James announced his split from his TV presenter ex-wife Beverley Turner in April this year, after 17 years together. The couple’s divorce was granted in July
Romantic: The blonde beauty smiled as she lent in for a kiss with her new beau
MailOnline revealed the couple’s blossoming friendship in July, with this being the first time they have put on such a public display of affection, confirming their romance with a kiss.
Just last month, James was snapped sharing what appeared to be an intimate moment with Jordan, who’s been comforting the Olympic rower through his divorce from TV’s Bev Turner.
New Yorker Jordan, who is part of the ‘cougars’ cheerleading team, was seen getting close with the father-of-three at the Henley Regatta.
Funny man! Clearly entertained by James, Jordan couldn’t contain her laughter
Cute: The couple held hands as they strolled along together, gazing into each other’s eyes
Mwah: The loved-up pair smooched while taking a break from the sunshine
Flirty: Jordan lent back on the park bench as she continued her flirtatious display
James has been seen several times with the young blonde who he met during their time together at Cambridge.
In July, a source told MailOnline of the blossoming friendship: ‘They have become very close and since his marriage break up there are few people who would deny him the support of an attractive young woman.
‘The end of James’ marriage to Bev has been amicable and friendly but there’s always going to be regret and maybe loneliness when something like that happens so it’s great he’s going his own way.’
Loved-up: The couple weren’t afraid to hide their affections as they shared a loving kiss
Taking charge: James put on an animated display as he and Jordan made their way to Battersea Park
Happy man: The rower flashed a wide smile while sitting with his new girlfriend
James’ girlfriend, whose family live in New York, was a member of the ‘Cambridge Cougars’, a university cheerleading team who support students at sports events.
The Olympic gold winning rower – who became the oldest rower to win the boat race for Cambridge earlier this year – announced his split from Beverley in April, as first revealed by Mail Online.
Beverley, 45, has remained in the family home in Chiswick, west London with their three children a son aged 15, and two daughters aged 10 and eight.
Besotted: The pair looked to be besotted with one another as Jordan softly touched James’ face
Where to? The couple searched on a map of Battersea Park to decide which direction to take next
Showing her around? James pointed out various things as they walked along together hand-in-hand
James, who won gold at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics as well as six world championship medals has been living in Cambridge where he studied for an MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies at Peterhouse College while also training for the prestigious boat race.
Beverley, who previously worked for BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC and also once presented ITV’s Formula One coverage, was said to have devastated by the split.
She has previously spoken movingly about her struggles to hold the marriage together after Cracknell was involved in an horrific bike crash in the US in 2010.
Caught in the moment: James and Jordan didn’t seem to care who saw as they went in for a kiss
Sunshine strolls: James and Jordan barely caught a breath as they chatted during their sunshine stroll
Their marriage was seen as amongst the strongest in celebrity circles as she carefully nursed him back to health.
Beverley told about her struggle to cope with the aggressive, disorientated stranger he became, she confessed: ‘Every moment of my life, from the time he was in that hospital bed in Arizona was about getting James back to the person he once was.’
Cracknell himself said he was ‘lucky to be alive’ after the accident, which happened when he was hit from behind by a petrol tanker while heading from Los Angeles to New York and was left with an injury to the frontal lobes of his brain.
Re-fuelling: The loved-up pair stopped at a refreshment van to buy soft drinks
Happy times: James and Jordan looked to be completely at ease, laughing and smiling while in each other’s company
His crash helmet was shorn in two, and he later revealed the incident had left him with epilepsy, a changed personality and a short temper. Beverley was pregnant with their third child at the time.
The star was filming a series called Cracknell’s Race Across America, in which he was to attempt running, cycling and rowing across the US in 18 days.
He was later flown back to the UK to recover in a London hospital.
Summer days: The couple smiled as they lent in for a kiss
James’ romantic outing with Jordan comes after he was confirmed for the seventeenth series of the long-running BBC flagship in August, 12-months after now ex wife Beverly Turner reportedly ‘banned’ him from participating.
Prior to their split, a source told The Sun: ‘James has always been interested in doing some reality TV but after getting offered Strictly Come Dancing last year Beverley put her foot down.
‘She always trusted James but she told pals she didn’t want ‘some Russian f***y in his face every week’ as part of the competition.’
‘The irony is that because of his height he’ll probably be paired with one of the taller, statuesque dancers. Beverley’s fear may yet come true!’
Last month: James and television presenter Beverley were granted a decree nisi in July, signalling an end to their marriage
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