TV presenter AJ Odudu receives UCLan Honorary Fellowship
Television presenter AJ Odudu has praised the “true northern grit” of Lancastrians as she accepted a prestigious academic award from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The award-winning broadcaster, who was born and raised in Blackburn, took to the graduation stage in Preston today, Wednesday, to receive her Honorary Fellowship.
AJ, who has hosted shows on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky, was recognised for her significant contribution to television presenting and broadcasting.
She said: “It feels incredible and so amazing to be here accepting an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire. It’s Blackburn, Lancashire, where all my dreams began, and so to be honoured right here where it all started, feels so special.
“I’m beyond ecstatic to still be supported by my home county, who has always supported and propelled me forward. I feel hugely proud, honoured and grateful to be receiving this.”
"I’m beyond ecstatic to still be supported by my home county, who has always supported and propelled me forward. I feel hugely proud, honoured and grateful to be receiving this"— New UCLan Honorary Fellow AJ Odudu
Addressing the graduating students, AJ said: “I congratulate you on your graduation and I just know this is now where the hard work begins for you. It’s exciting, I urge you to fear nothing, fear no-one, try try and try again. One thing you definitely now have having graduated from here is you’ve got that northern grit and with that you will go far.”
AJ recently co-hosted ITV's Big Brother reboot and she was part of BBC One’s Comic Relief live presenting team.
Last summer she was part of the BBC’s presenting team for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant, and last May she had the honour of announcing the UK’s results for the Eurovision Song Contest.
This year she has presented Channel 4’s Big Interiors Battle and The Greatest Auction. She was also previously a finalist in BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing and has hosted HBO game show The Bridge.
During her time as a co-host of Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast reboot with Mo Gilligan she won three awards - the Royal Television Society’s Entertainment Performance Award and the Edinburgh TV Award for Best TV Presenters, with the Big Breakfast winning the Edinburgh TV Award for Best Entertainment Show.
Away from TV, AJ has written articles for Vogue and Grazia and is also a qualified personal trainer and sports nutritionist.