Strictly’s AJ Odudu jumped through ‘many more hoops’ than white peers

AJ Odudu highlighted the challenges she faced during her career (Picture: Mark Cant/Women’s Health)

AJ Odudu felt that she had to jump through ‘many more hoops’ than her white peers during her career as a TV presenter.

Following her Strictly Come Dancing success, it was predicted that the 34-year-old host would go on to big things, and she’s already landed a series of major presenting gigs, including the Bafta red carpet event which took place last month.

However, AJ told Women’s Health that she felt the need to work twice as hard as a Black woman on TV.

Gracing the front cover of the May issue in a baby pink leotard, she said: ‘Even if you don’t get told (that you need to work harder to get half as far as white peers), you feel it.’

She added: ‘The opportunities you get and the things that you do, you know in your heart of hearts that you’ve had to jump through many more hoops than your counterparts.’

Despite feeling the overwhelming pressure, The Big Breakfast star revealed how proud she was to have ‘waded’ through it.

Television presenter and?Women?s Health - Cover star AJ Odudu

‘You know in your heart of hearts that you’ve had to jump through many more hoops than your counterparts.’ (Picture: Mark Cant/Women’s Health)

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 00:01 [GMT] ON TUESDAY 19TH APRIL, 2022 Television presenter and?Women?s Health?cover star AJ Odudu opens up on celebrating success and being authentic, having to work harder than white peers, being experimental with her appearance, and her goal to make an impact in the US?? ? The Women?s Health UK May issue front cover must be used with ALL editorial. Please download the cover from here: and apply image credit: ?Mark Cant? ? Please credit the quotes to ?Women?s Health UK? ? Please also state: ?Read the full AJ Odudu interview in the May issue of Women?s Health UK, on sale now? ? Please see the below images of AJ Odudu, which are available to use with the credit: ?Mark Cant?. Note, these images must only be used alongside the quotes in the below press release and are not to be used out of context. ? For print use: ? For online use: ? For online editorial, please ensure you hyperlink through to: ? Warrant there will be no derogatory, defamatory or negative reference made to Women?s Health or anyone featured in the release or pictures

AJ shared her thoughts with Women’s Health (Picture: Mark Cant/Women’s Health)AJ

AJ and Kai - Strictly 2021

AJ and Kai made it all the way to the final, but was forced to bow out due to AJ’s injury (Picture: BBC)

AJ made a huge impact during her time on the Strictly dance floor alongside Kai Widdrington, and made it all the way to the live finals.

But fans were gutted when she was forced to pull out of the series after she tore a ligament in her right ankle.

Her nasty injury also affected her place in this year’s nationwide tour, which resulted in EastEnders actress Masie Smith taking her place.

AJ consistently impressed the judges with her routines, but her absence meant the final went ahead with just two celebrity contestants – actress and eventual winner Rose Ayling-Ellis and Great British Bake Off star John Whaite.

When asked about how she felt about missing the final, she said: ‘I don’t know how to describe what it feels like to have a broken heart, and that’s what it feels like.’

Read the full feature online


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