AJ Odudu hosted ITV's Big Brother reboot for the first time on Sunday (October 9).
2.5million viewers tuned in to watch the pre-recorded launch show over the weekend, where AJ and close pal Will Best introduced 16 new contestants into the revamped house. The new housemates took part in a "housewarming party" to break the ice, and past host Davina McCall was clearly watching from home as she admitted she had "horrific fomo [fear of missing out]."
It's not the first time AJ, 35, has graced the iconic reality show, which first aired on Channel 4 in 2000 before it moved to Channel 5 and got axed in 2018. She used to host Big Brother's Bit on the Side in 2013 with Rylan Clark and Emma Willis.
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But there are probably things you didn't know about lovable AJ, who has had to deal with some tough moments during her career. From Strictly rumours to being cheated on, Daily Star has looked into AJ's life.
Rocky love life
AJ certainly hasn't had it easy in the love life department. It's believed she's currently single, but she's had a string of failed relationships.
In 2019, she revealed that she'd been cheated on by three of her ex-boyfriends. During her stint on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, she revealed that one slept with her best friend.
The year prior, during the Channel 4 show Manhunting With My Mum, AJ explained that all of her past relationships had crumbled. She said: "All my past relationships have gone wrong. Dating apps have failed to deliver. I’ve had loads of failed relationships. Sometimes I’m just too much for them, other times they are not enough for me – and a couple of times I’ve been cheated on."
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When AJ appeared on Strictly in 2021, she was partnered up with show pro Kai Widdrington, who this year is partnered with veteran newsreader Angela Rippon. But some fans reckoned that AJ and Kai could be more than just dance partners.
Speculation that the pair could be dating started to swirl as the weeks went on during the series, especially after their fiery Argentine Tango and intimate couples' choice routine. AJ fueled the rumours when she claimed there was "no acting" involved in their performances.
And Kai told her he "loved" her after one of their dances. But the pair denied anything romantic was going on during their appearance on It Takes Two. Kai said: "Well, look. We said this right, and I said this to [AJ], if people react like this then it means we are doing something right, because that is the way the dance should be danced."
He added: "If people want to think that, then great but we are just doing our jobs, she was doing her job." Kai is now going out with fellow Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova and AJ has insisted she is "happy" for them.
AJ proved to be a force in the ballroom on the 2021 series of Strictly, making it all the way to the final. But she was absolutely devastated when she was forced to pull out due to a foot injury.
The presenter was left unable to stand and using crutches after suffering ligament damage to her foot during rehearsals. It came just days before the final and it was so bad that AJ revealed: "The pain was so acute that I projectile vomited."
Poor AJ explained she was in "agony" and broke down on It Takes Two. Choking back tears, she said: "I’m upset because we were so excited on Monday. We’ve got three amazing dances that we really want to perform."
Unfortunately, AJ's foot troubles meant she had to pull out of the Strictly live tour for a while. Luckily, though, they finally got the chance to perform their showcase last year on the tour.
Net worth and real name
Like many other famous figures, AJ changed her name for work purposes. Her birth name is Onatejiro Odudu.
As for her net worth, AJ has racked up lots of TV credits during her time, from Big Brother and Married At First Sight to Eurovision and, so fans might expect her to be a wealthy lady. They'd be correct, because it's said she's worth £1.2m.
And that figure was floating around before her stint on Strictly, so there's a fair chance that reported number has now risen.
Big Brother airs Sunday to Thursday on ITV2 and ITVX at 9pm followed by Big Brother Late & Live at 10pm
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