About an hour ago, the BBC announced on social media that DJ and broadcaster AJ Odudu will read out the UK jury’s twelve points at Eurovision 2022 in Turin.
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AJ, real name Onatejiro, started her career on BBC Radio in her home county of Lancashire. After going on to be a recognisable presenter of shows on Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV, including The Voice and various spin-offs of Big Brother, she garnered national attention in 2021 when she reached the final of Strictly Come Dancing alongside professional partner Kai Widdrington.
Between 1981 and 2002, this prestigious role used to be the sole reserve of BBC Radio 2 giant Colin Berry, who, in the early days of televoting, was noted for reading out the exact number of phone votes received by the BBC. However, in more recent years, the role has been taken by such recognisable British TV personalities as Lorraine Kelly, Fearne Cotton, Richard Osman and even TV chef and self-confessed Eurofan Nigella Lawson. BBC Radio 1 DJ and Semi-Finals commentator Scott Mills has also had the role on-and-off.
The UK has a long tradition of reading its scores out in front of a famous London landmark, such as the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament. However, this year, the BBC has decided to base its spokesperson at its headquarters in the Manchester suburb of Salford, potentially to reflect the diversity and national reach of British broadcasting.
The UK adds itself to the growing number of nations to have announced their spokespersons early, and Odudu joins the ranks with several of last year’s Eurovision representatives, such as Vaidotas Valiukevičius for Lithuania, Stefania for Greece and Melodifestivalen alumnus Dotter for Sweden.
Where do you think the UK jury’s twelve points are going this year? Let us know on social media, and don’t forget to follow our live coverage throughout the next two weeks!