Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu proudly flew the flag for the UK as she read out the UK vote at Eurovision. The TV presenter followed in the footsteps of celebs such as Fearne Cotton, Scott Mills and Amanda Holden to dish out those all important points at this year’s competition.
As the UK’s entry Sam Ryder nearly pulled off the unthinkable and f inished second in the contest, AJ made history as, instead of calling from London, she rang in from right here in the north west.
“AJ calling from Salford… for the first time ever from Greater Manchester,” she proudly declared as host Graham Norton chuckled. And she awarded the sought-after douze points to Sweden.
And the praise came pouring in for her impeccable delivery. @Thurston_FW tweeted: “AJ being STUN.” @evincandy cheered: “YAS AJ Odudu looking like the queen she is !!!” @bexlam tweeted: “AJ” calling from Salford… for the first time ever from Greater Manchester GET IN “#ICONIC.” And @Joelle_o said: “AJ Adudu is a legend.”
The star, who hails from Blackburn, is now firmly in the Eurovision history books. In a career spanning more than a decade, she has had jobs working for the BBC, Channel 4 and even Sky Arts, including co-presenting coverage from the 2012 Isle of Wight Festival, presenting ‘Big Brother’s Bit on the Side’ alongside Rylan Clark -Neal and Emma Willis, as well as ‘Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Psych.’
She also hosted the 4Music program ‘Trending Live!’ alongside Jimmy Hill and Vick Hope between 2015 and 2019 and regularly presented the online Facebook quiz game ‘Confetti’ in March and April of 2019. In July 2021 she won the second series of Celebrity Karaoke Club on ITV2 and, from September of that same year , she was a contestant on the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with professional dancer Kai Widdrington.
In their first week alone, the couple topped the leaderboard with a score of 34 for their jive to ‘Gold Dust’ by DJ Fresh and topped it again twice more – one in week seven, with a score of 39 for their Charleston to ‘Don ‘t Bring Lulu’ and second (jointly) in the semi-final. However, Kai and AJ were forced to pull out of the competition on December 17, just a day before the final, after she tore a ligament in her right ankle.