AJ Odudu praises ‘diversity’ of The Big Breakfast ahead of show’s return

·4 min read

AJ Odudu has said The Big Breakfast “allows me to be in a space which I don’t often see or experience in TV”, after praising the Channel 4 show’s diversity ahead of its return.

The Big Breakfast first launched as a weekday morning entertainment programme in 1992 and last aired in its original format more than two decades ago.

The show will return to screens on Saturday with Odudu, 34, and her co-presenter Mo Gilligan, after the pair successfully hosted a one-off special last year as part of Channel 4’s Black To Front project.

Speaking about her decision to commit to a full series after the initial one-off episode, Odudu said: “I had so much fun doing the first show so was excited to come back and host again alongside Mo but obviously the sentiment behind it boosted it for me personally, because it allows me to be in a space which I don’t often see or experience in TV.

“I think it’s so important to show people that there are lots of different opportunities in telly, on and off screen, which should be open to everyone and hopefully, by setting that example, it will help shape the face of not just The Big Breakfast but of more programming in the future.”

The Black To Front initiative saw a day of programming during which the broadcaster aired shows fronted by black stars and featuring black contributors.

Reflecting on the reaction to the special episode of The Big Breakfast, Odudu added: “It was so brilliant. Mo was on social media throughout the actual show, whereas I was like, ‘I don’t want to look at any of it. I don’t want the feedback. I’m just going to do my thing.’

“So, to have such great public feedback from fans old and new was just amazing. The public response was really great and, thankfully, I think it helped encourage Channel 4 to give it a bit longer for this summer series.”

The television presenter, who first gained recognition presenting Big Brother spin-off show Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, also said the diversity of The Big Breakfast’s cast and crew contributes to the show’s unique appeal and sets it apart from other morning shows.

“Quite frankly, there’s no other show on the telly quite like it. It’s perfect mayhem, I think. Bonkers but brilliant,” she said.

Odudu added: “We’ll have a diverse team too – obviously, we’ve got this show beyond the Black To Front special now, but we’ve maintained the diversity of the crew and the cast.

“I think it’s going to really start to represent a part of the audience who are going to be able to see and recognise themselves a lot more on the telly.

“It’s going to be a show that’s for everyone.”

Alongside Odudu and Gilligan, 34, The Big Breakfast will see comedian Judi Love grilling guests in the show’s On The Bed interview segment.

Outside the studio, radio presenters Melvin Odoom and Harriet Rose will be on the streets of the UK playing games with members of the public, while The Big Breakfast newsreader Phil Gayle returns to deliver the morning’s headlines.

Over the course of four episodes, Odudu and Gilligan will also be joined by a variety of famous faces, including Oscar-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya, singer Rita Ora, former The Big Breakfast presenter Denise Van Outen, comedian Joel Dommett and rapper Aitch.

The Big Breakfast returns to Channel 4 on August 13 at 10am.