Blackburn’s AJ Odudu wins Royal Television Society award
East Lancashire presenter AJ Odudu has been honored for his presenting work at this week’s Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards.
Alongside comedian Mo Gilligan, AJ won the entertainment performance award for The Big Breakfast, which they hosted together in September 2021.
The duo beat comedian Rosie Jones (Trip Hazard) and Victoria Coren-Mitchell (Only Connect) to win the gong.
The judges described AJ and Mo’s presentation style as “playful and generous, funny and warm”.
The show itself also won an entertainment award, beating Dave’s Big Zuu’s Big Eats and ITV’s The Masked Singer.
Posting on Instagram, AJ said she couldn’t be more proud of the show.
She said: “We won two @royaltelevisionsociety awards last night for The Big Breakfast.
“I couldn’t be happier and prouder of the show we put on, the amazing team @lifted_entertainment and the most supportive, talented and dedicated co-driver I could ask for, Mo. Thank you all for making this dream a reality!”
Immediately after receiving the award at the ceremony, AJ said she was “over the moon”.
— Royal Television Society (@RTS_media) March 29, 2022
She said, “I can’t believe it. Winning an award for a show that I basically watched growing up is the best – I feel good.”
Mo Gilligan also had kind words for AJ.
He said: “[AJ] is absolutely amazing and one of the best in the business.
“She deserves to host her own show and she’s one of the best people I’ve worked with.”
The Big Breakfast was a staple of the channel’s morning schedule from 1992 to 2002.
In this special, which aired last year as part of Channel 4’s Black To Front project, big celebrities took part, including Usain Bolt, Idris Elba, Nile Rodgers and many more.
The prestigious RTS Judges Award went to Strictly Come Dancing 2021, of which AJ was a finalist.
The judges said: “This year, the recipient of this prestigious honor is a television series that broke ground in 2021.
“That’s an extraordinary achievement in itself, given that it’s by far the most popular entertainment show on British television, and now in its nineteenth season.
“In last fall’s series, the producers of Strictly Come Dancing created two new milestones – both due to the inclusive casting policy that has become one of the show’s many hallmarks.
“What a terrific series it was.”
Channel 4’s It’s a Sin, which was filmed at Darwen, also won the award.
It’s a Sin Writer Russell T Davies dedicates his Writer – Drama Award to ‘those we lost, those who lived, those who learned and those we loved’ during the AIDS pandemic #RTSAwards #It’s a sin @russelldavies63 pic.twitter.com/yytmjhY4sM
— Royal Television Society (@RTS_media) March 30, 2022
The show won three awards, including Best Limited Series and Best Drama Writer for its creator Russell T Davies.
Series star Callum Scott Howells won Best Actor, after fending off co-star Olly Alexander.
The crews for the show, originally titled Boys, were filmed in a house on Joseph Street in Darwen in 2020.
Locator scouts had visited the area beyond St. Peter’s Church in the town for some time before making the decision.
Key scenes were also shot at Le Mans Crescent, Bolton and Bolton School, which turned into the Palace of Westminster.
He was praised for his candid view of the disease’s impact on young men during the period.
RTS Program Awards President Kenton Allen said returning from the in-person ceremony was “a truly remarkable moment”.
“All of tonight’s winners are fantastic examples of the outstanding content that has been produced in the UK and resonated with audiences not just here, but around the world,” he said.
“Big congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and nominees; it’s a wonderful opportunity to recognize the creative and hardworking people behind UK television.
See the full list of winners on this website: www.rts.org.uk/award/programme2022