TACKLING NEW CHALLENGES 'IF YOU PUT AN AFFAIR INTO THE MIX WITH ALL THE TRAINING, IT'D BE EXHAUSTING!'
OK! UK|January 24, 2022
DANCING ON ICE STAR BEN FODEN AND HIS WIFE JACKIE OPEN UP TO OK! ABOUT OVERCOMING OBSTACLES, THEIR BLENDED FAMILY AND HAVING NOTHING TO FEAR FROM ANY SHOW "CURSE"
ANNA MATHESON

Ben Foden is the first to admit his public image hasn't been the best over the past few years. The rugby ace made headlines for being unfaithful to his ex-wife, The Saturdays singer Una Healy, in 2018. Then, in 2019, he married American businesswoman Jackie Belanoff-Smith after two weeks of dating - on the day his divorce came through.

But now Ben, who shares 19-monthold daughter Farrah with Jackie, 37, tells OK! he hopes his stint on this year's Dancing On Ice can help redeem him in the eyes of the public.

"Doing a show like this, you try to show people at home that I'm not a bad guy, everyone makes mistakes," the 36-year-old explains. "I'm very happy and we've moved on from all that. Jackie and I have Farrah, Una and I are in a good place. It's all part of the healing process, how you're perceived. And I think we're getting there."

As we catch up over Zoom after our stunning family shoot, it's clear the couple are very loved-up and they bat away fears about Dancing On Ice curses. During our chat, their gorgeous daughter even pops up to say hello, as does Tadhg, the six-year-old son Ben shares with Una, 40, along with daughter Aoife, nine.

Tadhg and Aoife live in Ireland with their mum but were over for a Christmas visit to Ben's brother Tom's house in Cheshire, where the couple are staying for the duration of Ben's Dancing On Ice journey.

Here, they reveal their plans for the future, chat about a potential move from their current home in New York to the UK and when they'll be having another baby...

Hi, both! How are you doing?

Ben: We're knackered! Aoife and Tadhg are over at the moment. We try to do something every day, so yesterday it was Waterworld and we've done the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Winter Wonderland, ice-skating, and I'm doing Dancing On Ice training, too. They're such good kids. We love having them over so they can spend time with Farrah, too, as she adores them.

Tell us about Dancing On Ice, Ben. What made you want to take part?

Ben: I've been asked a few times but I could never do it with my rugby schedule. It's the chance to do something that is completely out of my comfort zone and I've done very little of in the past.

Who's your biggest competition?

Ben: I think if you have a good dance background, like Kimberly [Wyatt] or Brendan (Cole), you're going to be good. I saw Liberty Poole's routine a few weeks ago and she was very strong. I know Regan [Gascoigne) is really good, to the point where the pros have said he's the best we've ever seen in this competition.

Do you feel nervous about the public vote?

Ben: You just don't know how you're perceived. My public image, because of the past three years, has not been the best. Doing shows like this, you try to show to people at home I'm not a bad guy, everyone makes mistakes. I'm very happy and we've moved on from all that happening. Jackie and I have Farrah, Una and I are in a good place. It's all part of the healing process, how you're perceived. And I think we're getting there.

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