A former Strictly Come Dancing contestant has earned a whopping £1.2 million in the two years since participating on the show.
AJ Odudu, a TV presenter in 2021, was most known for her participation on spin-off programmes associated to series like Big Brother, Married at First Sight, and The Voice.
She also competed on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, making it to the finals in the 2019 season.
AJ, 35, was then cast in the popular dance show, where she was matched with professional dancer Kai Widdrington.
They topped the table in their first week with an outstanding score of 34 and advanced to the final.
But, just one day before their final performance, they were forced to withdraw from the competition after AJ tore a ligament in her right ankle.
Despite the disappointment, which she described as leaving her with a “broken heart,” she was able to get future work by leveraging her tremendous popularity on the programme.
Since then, AJ has presented Eurovision, appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and competed in The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off.
She has also just hosted The Greatest Auction and is currently one of the two new presenters of the Big Brother relaunch, with Will Best.
Since her appearance on Strictly, she has earned a staggering £1.2 million, which does not include her projected £500,000 pay day for hosting Big Brother.
The figures come from newly-filed accounts for the company which handles her earnings, as reported by The Sun.
‘Before Strictly, she was a little-known presenter who’d been grafting for years, but never managed to make her big breakthrough,’ a source told the publication.
‘But after AJ dazzled on the dance floor, she became a household name — and broadcasters were queueing up to give her work.
‘She didn’t hesitate to take up as many jobs as she could. The result is she’s now one of Britain’s highest achieving and high earning presenters.’
Accounts for AJ’s firm, Piggy and Tuffs, were just submitted and span the period from February 2022 to January of this year.
They reveal that AJ had £1.8 million in the bank, which includes profits from her eight years on lesser TV series.
She is thought to have earned roughly £50,000 for her appearance on Strictly.
She has featured in 20 different shows across three major broadcasters since departing, as well as an advertisement for Google phones.
However, she confessed earlier this year that the TV business wasn’t always so welcoming of her northern accent.
AJ is from Blackburn and said on Lorraine that many people have encouraged her to ‘get rid’ of her accent.
Fortunately, her mother, Florence Odudu, encouraged her to be proud of her voice regardless of what others thought.
‘It’s so interesting how people can just judge you by how you sound or what you look like,’ AJ reflected.
‘[But] Thank goodness I’ve got my mum who has still got the most glorious Nigerian accent.’
Florence told AJ: ‘No you’re from where you are from and that’s part of who you are so keep the accent.’
Big Brother continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2.