Jordan Banjo started the year off on a high after getting engaged to his longtime fiancee Naomi Courts but they were then plunged into lockdown with the rest of the country.
Spending copious amounts of time together might seem like an ideal situation for a smitten newly-engaged couple but Jordan and Naomi eventually realised the importance of having their own space as the lockdown months drew on.
‘I think Nay loved me being at home for the first week after that she was sick of me. “Why are is this not put away properly? Why are you doing that? You’re messing this up”. I thought, “Uh oh, I’m in trouble”,’ Jordan joked to Metro.co.uk ahead of Cadbury Heroes League on November 14.
‘As much as it’s really nice to have someone to live with and you’re not on your own and not in an isolation situation, when you’re with that same person all the time, especially if you’re like me and you’re not used to being around 24/7 and then you suddenly are, it can get stressful as your entire dynamic can change on the spot.
‘The way your relationship has worked for the past five years and the way you know and exist with each other changes overnight,’ he explained.
Jordan and Naomi have been together for five years and share two beautiful children – son Cassius, two, and daughter Mayowa Angel, one – so spending quality time alone is a rarity but something the Diversity dancer now prioritises.
Sharing how he keeps the romance alive in their relationship, he revealed: ‘Whereas before where we were together so much, it got to a point where I was like, “Listen you just take the morning off, go upstairs whether it’s chilling out or getting work done”.
‘I know it sounds silly to say let’s just take parts of the day where we’re actively taking time for ourselves and staying out of each other’s way and allowing time to miss each other a bit.’
The couple had started the early stages of planning their wedding during the first lockdown but quickly ran into obstacles with catering companies completely backed up.
‘My brother got engaged, nine months later married, the whole wedding sorted,’ Jordan said referring to his brother Ashley Banjo who is married to Francesca Abbott.
He continued: ‘For me he planned it perfectly, he had a couple of months off. My plan was I proposed in Jan, had a bunch of work all the way through to spring time so I thought, here’s what I’m gonna do, once March is over we’re going to plan the next months and hopefully maybe summer ‘21 we’ll get married.
‘Unfortunately we got to the end of March and the whole world went, no planning right now.’
Jordan then joked: ‘Part of me is like let’s just get to the registry office in Essex and get this done with but I know Nay wants it to be her special day.’
Not only that but Jordan quickly realised that his immediate family alone would take them way past the 15 people currently allowed at weddings with the current social distancing measures.
Like many of us, Jordan’s used the lockdown period to spend quality time with family.
He’s teamed up with his mum for the Cadbury Heroes League tournament for which he’s had to teach her how to play Mortal Kombat.
It’s proved to be a unique bonding experience for the pair as Jordan’s mother is also his manager.
‘I think what my mum’s enjoying most is spending some time with me in a capacity that isn’t work,’ he revealed.
The KISS FM presenter went on: ‘My mum’s my manager, my brother’s manager, the group’s manager and has her home life with her husband and my sisters.
‘I speak to my mum everyday but it’s about schedules and meetings. We’re having fun [now] whether it’s about the fact she’s beaten me.
‘I know it sounds silly but it feels like back before BGT when I was 15 or 16.’
Jordan did admit: ‘100% [she gets competitive] but she keeps trying to downplay it. She gets stressed when she loses.’
Jordan Banjo is taking part in the Cadbury Heroes League, a new gaming tournament where he will train his mum to compete against other parents. For the chance to connect with your family over gaming and Cadbury Heroes, visit the Cadbury Instagram page or watch the tournament on Twitch on November 14.
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