ENTERTAINMENT
07/09/2020 15:57 BST

Jason Bell: From The NFL To Strictly Come Dancing, Here's Everything You Need To Know

The former American football player is known for his work as a sports commentator, and his famous ex, Nadine Coyle.

This year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing will be like no other due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we should still prepare to be wowed by what looks to be an exciting and diverse celebrity line-up.

Among this year’s famous contestants are Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, comedian Bill Bailey, boxing champion Nicola Adams, Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing and former National Football League player Jason Bell

Since Jason is one of the lesser known stars of this year’s Strictly line up, let us bring you up to speed...

Jason began his career as an NFL player, and is now a sports commentator

Born in Long Beach, California, Jason is a 42-year-old former NFL player turned sports commentator.

BBC
Jason Bell is one of 12 celebrities competing in Strictly this year

Jason is best known for being a cornerback in the National Football League, playing for teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and New York Giants.

He began his career in 2001 playing for Dallas Cowboys and then moved to Houston Texans in 2002, around the time he received the Ed Block Courage Award. In 2006, he transferred to the New York Giants, which was the last team he played for before retiring. 

His NFL career came to an end after he underwent surgery 

Jason ended his football career in 2008 after undergoing back surgery the previous year.

Soon after, he became a TV sports commentator and broadcaster, working for on The NFL Show for BBC Sports alongside former New York Giants player Osi Umenyiora.

Jim McIsaac via Getty Images
Jason on the football field in 2006

So how come he ended up living in the UK? 

Jason began a long-term relationship with Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle in 2008. They were even engaged for a short period of time in 2014, but eventually called time on their on-off relationship in September 2019.

The former couple also share a six-year-old daughter, named Anaiya Bell.

Fun fact: another of Nadine Coyle’s exes, Desperate Housewives star Jesse Metcalfe, is set to be on the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars.

Nadine and Jesse dated in 2006 for around a year.

Dave M. Benett via Getty Images
Nadine Coyle and Jason Bell

But Jason was actually married once before

The former NFL player was previously married to a primary school teacher called Kimberley in 2003. They filed for divorce after two years, which was finalised in 2008.

Jason has had some personal troubles along the way

This includes in February 2005, when he assaulted a truck firm boss named Peter Marosi at the Sutra Lounge bar in Costa Messa, California. Jason smashed a bottle over Marosi’s head, leading to him needing more than a dozen stitches. Jason was sentenced to probation and 300 hours of community service.

And now we can look forward to seeing him on the Strictly dance floor

It was announced on The One Show in early September that Jason will be one of the 12 stars competing on Strictly Come Dancing this year.

BBC
Jason Bell was announced as one of this year's Strictly stars on The One Show

He said he was “proud and humbled to be participating” in the 18th series of Strictly Come Dancing, saying: “Strictly was the first show I ever watched when I moved to the UK and I’m a massive fan.

“My 6-year-old daughter never got the chance to see me run out on the field at an NFL game but she is very excited about me taking to the dance floor. I hope I can do her proud.”

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later in the autumn.