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Ben Foden praises his ex-wife Una Healy for raising their 'loving and gentle' children by herself


Ben Foden has praised his ex-wife Una Healy for raising their ‘loving and gentle’ children by herself, following their divorce in 2018.

The professional rugby player, 36, shares Tadgh, 6, and Aoife, 9, with the former The Saturdays band member, 40, and claimed it’s thanks to her that they turned out so well.

He told The Mirror: ‘I always doff my hat to Una. She’s raised the kids for the last couple of years on her own, and they’re great kids, very loving and gentle, and intelligent too – and they definitely don’t get that from me.

'They definitely don't get it from me!' Ben Foden has praised his ex-wife Una Healy for raising their 'loving and gentle' children by herself, following their divorce in 2018 (pictured in 2019)

‘They definitely don’t get it from me!’ Ben Foden has praised his ex-wife Una Healy for raising their ‘loving and gentle’ children by herself, following their divorce in 2018 (pictured in 2019)

‘I’d like them to get into music and acting. They did an advert with Una for McDonald’s and were great in it.’

Ben tied the knot with his second wife Jackie Smith Foden in 2019 just two weeks after they met and they welcomed their daughter Farrah the following year.

He added: ‘Jackie is just obsessed with Farrah, she’s changed her whole perspective on life. And she’s a brilliant stepmum to the other two.’ 

Ben is gearing up to compete in the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice alongside professional partner Robin Johnstone, which begins on Sunday.

Exes: The professional rugby player, 36, shares Tadgh, 6, and Aoife, 9, with the former The Saturdays band member, 40, and claimed it's thanks to her that they turned out so well (pictured in 2017)

Exes: The professional rugby player, 36, shares Tadgh, 6, and Aoife, 9, with the former The Saturdays band member, 40, and claimed it’s thanks to her that they turned out so well (pictured in 2017)

Set to compete on the new series is Love Islander Liberty Poole, 21, BMX Olympic silver medalist Kye Whyte, 22, Paul Gascoigne’s son Regan Gascoigne, 25, The Vamps’ Connor Ball, 25, rugby star Ben and Paralympian Stef Reid, 37.

Other celebrities taking part include presenter Ria Hebden, 38, pop star and actress Kimberly Wyatt, 39, professional dancer Brendan Cole, 45, and Happy Mondays dancer Bez, 57.

Currently, Brendan has been tipped as the favourite to win the show, with odds of 3-1 according to Coral.

Family: He said: 'I always doff my hat to Una. She's raised the kids for the last couple of years on her own, and they're great kids, very loving and gentle, and intelligent too' (pictured with Tadgh, 6, and Aoife, 9)

Family: He said: ‘I always doff my hat to Una. She’s raised the kids for the last couple of years on her own, and they’re great kids, very loving and gentle, and intelligent too’ (pictured with Tadgh, 6, and Aoife, 9)

Regan is the 4-1 second favourite with the show starting this weekend, with Liberty and Kimberley as joint third at 5-1.

Brendan will take to the ice with veteran pro Vanessa, who was previously crowned series champion with Jake Quickenden. 

This year’s celeb contestants will make their debut on the ice on the live launch show this Sunday, with ITV hoping there will be less injuries than last year’s chaotic series.

The 2021 series saw stars Denise Van Outen, Billie Faiers and Jason Donovan all forced to withdraw following injury, with contestants were forced to form a ‘bubble’ with their partners due to Covid restrictions and it was filmed without a live audience.

Loved up: Ben tied the knot with his second wife Jackie Smith Foden in 2019 just two weeks after they met and they welcomed their daughter Farrah the following year (pictured in November 2021)

Loved up: Ben tied the knot with his second wife Jackie Smith Foden in 2019 just two weeks after they met and they welcomed their daughter Farrah the following year (pictured in November 2021)

Both reserve contestants had to be used for the first time in the show’s history as three celebrities were forced to withdraw and two tested positive for the virus.

Denise, 47, sustained an injury in the second week after she suffered three bone fractures and a partially dislocated shoulder.

Billie, 31, became the second to withdraw from the competition as she sustained a head injury during training, while Australian actor Jason, 53, was also forced to leave due to a back injury, in week 6 of the show.

The series suffered another blow as comedian Rufus Hound, 42, Joe-Warren Plant, 19 and his professional partner Vanessa Bauer, 25, all contracted Covid-19.

The new series of Dancing on Ice starts on Sunday January 16th at 6.30pm on ITV. 

Coming soon: Dancing on Ice starts on Sunday January 16th at 6.30pm on ITV

Coming soon: Dancing on Ice starts on Sunday January 16th at 6.30pm on ITV

Dancing On Ice 2022: Who are the celebrities?

KYE WHYTE

Age: 22

Profession: Olympics BMX rider

Kye says: ‘I’d love to see if I can make the final because I’m very competitive.’

RACHEL STEVENS

Age: 43

Profession: Singer

Rachel says‘It now feels really real, this is really happening. I’m so excited, obviously really nervous.’

LIBERTY POOLE

 

Age: 22

Profession: Love Island star  

Liberty says: ‘I ice skate as a hobby sometimes so I can get around the rink but I can’t do any tricks’ 

STEF REID  

Age: 36

Profession: Paralympian

Stef says: ‘I’m going to be a contestant on Dancing on Ice and it’s a little bit scary but I cannot wait!’

REGAN GASCOIGNE 

 

Age: 26

Profession: Singer 

Regan says: ‘I love dancing but it’s the skill of this. I’ve always wanted to do it. Always! Ever since I was a kid!’

 KIMBERLY WYATT 

Age: 39

 Age: 39                                                                     

Profession: Pussycat Dolls singer

Kimberly says: ‘I’m just excited to see what I can do on there. I’m up for a challenge!’

BRENDAN COLE

 

Age: 45

Profession: Dancer

Brendan says: ‘I’ve known I’d be doing the show for quite some time and I want to get started, I’m so excited to be on the show.’ 

BEN FODEN 

 

Age: 36

Profession: Rugby player  

Ben says:  ‘I like the idea of learning a new sport and a new skill. I’m quite competitive as well.’

SALLY DYNEVOR  

 

Age:  58

Profession: Coronation Street actress 

Sally says:  ‘This is a massive challenge. I’m so scared! I’ve just got to take every opportunity I get.’

BEZ

 

Age: 57

Profession: Happy Mondays 

Bez says: ‘I’m always up for a challenge and am already in training on the ice.’

RIA HEBDEN

Age: 36

Profession: Presenter

Ria says: ‘It will be brilliant to learn a new scary skill.’

 CONNOR BALL

Age: 25

Age: 25

 Profession: The Vamps bassist

Connor says: ‘I’m excited obviously but I’m really nervous. I’m quite clumsy, accident prone.’

 

 

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