AJ Odudu discusses battle towards racism, classism and sexism to carve out profession


AJ Odudu noticed her repute skyrocket after her look on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021, occurring to current Comedian Aid, the Eurovision Music Contest and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant

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Strictly’s AJ Odudu says she ‘cried for days’ after present exit

AJ Odudu says she was left feeling like she was the ‘improper intercourse, color and sophistication’ when she struggled to interrupt into the TV business.

Whereas the 34-year-old has now cemented herself as one of many UK’s prime TV hosts, issues weren’t so rosy for her when she began out.

After a modest upbringing in a working class household in Blackburn, the place her mum Florence was a cleaner at a grammar college and her dad James was a bus conductor, AJ noticed her repute skyrocket after her look on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021.

She was paired on the present alongside skilled dancer Kai Widdrington and collectively they have been one of many favourites to win the 2021 competitors.

AJ was pressured to drag out of the Strictly Come Dancing closing via harm



Nevertheless, AJ and Kai’s hopes have been crushed when she suffered a severe harm to the spring ligament in her foot which dominated her out of the Strictly closing, which was subsequently received by Eastenders star Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Talking to the Every day Mail Weekend journal, AJ stated: “It’s not that I believed I might win, as a result of I didn’t, however I used to be simply gutted as a result of I knew we’d have placed on an awesome present.

“I keep in mind saying, ‘I’m so upset, guys,’ whereas crying my eyes out and considering, ‘My foot actually hurts right here, however not as a lot as my coronary heart does.'”

AJ and her seven siblings have been inspired to “seize the alternatives that our dad and mom didn’t have” when she was rising up, though she struggled initially to interrupt into the TV business.

She stated she felt “individuals like her” did not get jobs in TV and provides that she was additionally informed to lose her thick Blackburn accent early in her profession, which she refused.

AJ opened up in regards to the racism she endured as a baby, which nonetheless, sadly, is a matter right now.

She added: “There’s a lot that’s improper with how I’ve been handled up to now and the way I proceed to be handled. However it’s important to choose your battles.

“I can shield my happiness, but additionally rise up for what I consider is unjust. That’s what I’m attempting to strike the steadiness between.”

One among AJ’s early roles was as co-presenter with Rylan Clark on Massive Brother’s Bit on the Aspect


Channel 5/ WireImage)

Earlier than her Strictly stint, Odudu’s presenting profession solely consisted of programmes focusing on the youthful demographic and spin-off exhibits reminiscent of Massive Brother’s Bit on the Aspect and The Voice UK, the latter as a backstage presenter.

However she has since gone on to host exhibits reminiscent of Comedian Aid with Vernon Kay, be the spokesperson for UK on the Eurovision Music Contest 2022 and extra lately through the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

In the meantime, TV followers are quickly to get to see much more of AJ as she will probably be serving to get up the nation in a rebooted model of The Massive Breakfast.

AJ was the spokesperson for the UK jury on the Eurovision Music Contest this 12 months


Ian West/PA Wire)

She was one of many presenters through the Platinum Jubilee Pageant


Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

The star, alongside comic Mo Gilligan, will probably be on the air over the month of August because the mad-cap early morning leisure present is ready to return to screens following a profitable one-off airing final 12 months.

Talking in regards to the present final month, AJ stated: “There actually is nothing like The Massive Breakfast on our screens. I cherished internet hosting it final 12 months and I’m wanting ahead to being again on the home to kick off summer time weekends on this now award-winning present.”

Mo added: “I like being a part of this unbelievable history-making present. The entire crew are so spectacular, and I’ve a lot enjoyable working with AJ – she’s probably the greatest within the enterprise. And now a dwell summer time collection? Let’s go!”

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