It’s an iconic moment that spans decades – and this year AJ Odudu will be the famous face handing out these sheet music on behalf of the UK for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The TV presenter and star of Strictly Come Dancing will follow in the footsteps of celebrities such as Fearne Cotton, Scott Mills and Amanda Holden to hand out those sought-after twelve points in this year’s competition. But she will also go down in history because, instead of calling from London, she will be calling from Salford, right here in the North West.
The Blackburn-born star will become the first spokesperson to do so, with BBC Eurovision confirming in a tweet that read: “Ciao Italia, SALFORD calling!” It might be weird for some fans not to hear London over Salford, but it definitely puts AJ in the Eurovision history books.
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But besides having written history in the world of European music competitions for some 66 years, who is AJ Odudu? Here’s everything you need to know before she hits our screens in tonight’s grand finale.
She has a presenting career spanning over a decade
As previous Eurovision spokespeople such as Scott Mills and Fearne Cotton have proven, you have to be good enough to present when you’re chosen to present those all-important scores on the night of the grand final. Luckily for AJ, she has plenty of practice.
In a career spanning over a decade, she has worked for the BBC, Channel 4 and even Sky Arts, including co-presenting coverage of the Isle of Wight Festival 2012, 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 show “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 2019.
She even co-hosted ‘The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon’ alongside legend Vernon Kay in March 2022 and a one-off episode of ‘The Big Breakfast’ in 2021. Plus, she’s the backstage presenter of The Voice UK and The Voice Kids. .
She has a few music-themed accolades to her credit
So we know she can present – and she certainly has presented her fair share of music-based programs, but what else does AJ Odudu know about the music world?
Well, in July 2021, she won the second series of Celebrity Karaoke Club on ITV2 and, from September of the same year, she took part in the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing, in partnership with professional dancer Kai Widdrington .
In their first week alone, the pair topped the charts with a score of 34 for their jive to DJ Fresh’s ‘Gold Dust’ and topped it again twice more – one in week seven, with a score of 39 for their Charleston at ‘Don’t Bring Lulu’ and second (jointly) in the semi-final.
However, Kai and AJ were forced to withdraw from competition on December 17, just a day before the final, after tearing a ligament in their right ankle.
She participated in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins
AJ actually appeared on the first-ever Celebrity SAS program in April 2019, alongside Victoria Pendleton, Ben Foden, Heather Fisher, Jeff Brazier, Wayne Bridge, Sam Thompson, Andrea McLean, Jeremy Irvine, Dev Griffin, Louise Mensch and Camilla Thurlow .
She reached the program final, but later revealed in interviews that she “needed therapy for three months” following the ordeal.
You can see AJ Odudu make history in the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, which starts at 8pm on BBC One tonight (Saturday May 14).