Presenting Big Brother has made AJ Odudu a household name ... but her broad Blackburn accent has come in for  criticism. She told Simone O’Kane that she thinks viewers will get used to it

LOOKS like a model, sounds like a farmer!’ That’s just one of the thousands of comments picked from the world wide web, describing Channel 5’s latest up-and- coming talent.

With her comical and quirky personality Onatejiro Odudu, otherwise known as AJ said she is proud to be presenting to the nation with her broad Blackburn accent despite criticism from viewers over it.

Co-presenting Big Brother’s Bit on the Side (BBBOTS) the 24-year-old beauty from East Lancashire landed the role presenting alongside X-Factor’s Rylan Clarke.

“My accent is just one of those things. If people really took time to listen then they will know what I am saying. It’s just the first criticism that they can think of,” said AJ who started off as a guest panellist on BBBOTS.

“They are just being narrow minded if I am being honest. People are saying who is AJ? She has never presented before, but little do they know that I have.

“Because my accent is extra thick, it’s brand new to the viewers. They need to get used to the fact that it’s not just southerners who are in the media. Look at Sarah Cox, Vernon Kay, Tess Daly, people do get used to it and some people actually really like it,” she said.

The former St Mary’s College student landed her first presenting role in 2009 with Radio 1’s Reggie Yates in a six-part BBC2 series, The Almost Perfect Guide To Life, a programme aimed at teenagers and their troubles.

Before that she started off as a ‘Blast Reporter’ for BBC Lancashire, reporting on nightlife, local artists and exciting goings-on in Lancashire.

She now co-hosts the show to millions of viewers on Channel 5 on a nightly basis with former X Factor drama queen Rylan.

“I got the job the same day as my 18-year-old brother got his first job at Marks and Spencer in Blackburn. He is working there whilst he is at college.

“That day my mum Florence said she was so proud of us both which is cute. I feel really lucky to have such a great job, it’s so funny.

“Me and Rylan get on well, we both have a love for fake things including hair and nails. We are the same ladies size in clothes and in tops and T-shirts, so we usually swap and share what we can,” laughed AJ who also has a degree in media production from Keele University.

This year there are plenty of twists in the show and new faces to cause a stir, including brand new host Emma Willis, who replaced Brian Dowling.

And for AJ the relationship with the whole Big Brother production team is ‘just great’ including the wardrobe department, who are managing well to dress AJ’s model figure with the latest fashions.

“The clothes that are picked out for me are really bright I am usually really bad at picking out my own clothes so it makes me appreciate what different jobs people do,” she said.

The former St Bede’s RC High School pupil admitted that she has been a fan of Big Brother ever since its first show broadcast on Channel 4 13 years ago. 

She has also seen her Twitter account @AJOdudu gain over 9,500 followers since her TV role started as well as being recognised by people in the street.

But for AJ, the thought of being a contestant, triggers her childhood memory, a time where she lived in a small space with her five brothers and two sisters and both parents in Whalley Range.

“I just couldn’t live in the Big Brother house. It is just too small, I come from a large family and growing up there were ten of us in one three-bedroom house, so I certainly don’t need to live in there or experience it I have been there and donr that,” joked AJ.

The TV presenter is also just as proud of her Nigerian roots as she is her northern ones.

“I do say my blood is made of gravy but I also say there’s Joloff rice (a spicy African dish) in my veins too because I don’t feel the cold. I was presenting for Sky at The Isle of White Festival and everybody else was in coats and jackets. I had my legs out and my arms out, wearing a dress, I couldn’t feel the cold, but really it must be because I am northern.”