Her first performance – a jive to Gold Dust by DJ Fresh – dazzled the audience, and earned her a score of 34, the highest week-one score for 16 years.
Strictly fans will no doubt expect to see the 33-year-old star sail through weeks two, three, four, and five (at least), alongside pro dance partner Kai Widdrington.
If you’re not a big fan of reality TV (beyond Strictly), this might be the first you’ve seen of AJ. But she’s been on telly screens for some time now.
So, who is she and what shows has she presented?
Here’s what you need to know.
Who is AJ Odudu?
AJ Odudu – born Onatejiro Odudu – is a TV presenter originally from Blackburn, Lancashire.
2013 was the year she found fame, appearing as a host on Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, alongside Rylan Clark and Emma Willis.
She went on to host Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Psych, as well as presenting backstage for The Voice UK and The Voice Kids.
From Extra slice to Richard Osman’s House of Games and the celebrity version of The Chase, AJ has made countless TV appearances.
One notable appearance was a two-hour special return of The Big Breakfast, alongside comedian Mo Gilligan.
And she also reached the final of Channel 4’s toughest reality show, Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
In 2021, fans will recognise her as the host Married At First Sight UK: Afters, which airs after the main programme.
In addition to her TV work, AJ is a contributing editor at women’s magazine Grazia.
And she’s rather popular on social media, too, with 117,000 followers curious about her every post.
We don’t know too much about AJ’s life away from the cameras, but we do know she’s been renovating a flat.
On a separate Instagram account, @homewithaj, 11,000 fans watch as AJ does up her three-bed Victorian flat.
Recent posts have included interior design highlights, and the process of building a summer house in her back garden.
What has AJ said about Strictly?
In a big reveal with BBC One’s The One Show, AJ confessed that she hadn’t told her mum – a huge Strictly fan – that she’d be selected for the series.
She joked: ‘She’s gonna be watching [this] right now, she’s gonna be beside herself.
‘I can’t even tell you how much we love the show. This is a dream come true.
‘I’ve got seven siblings, you know how parents say they don’t have a favourite child, this is favourite child status right here.’
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 continues tonight on BBC One at 6.45pm.
Credit: Original article published here.