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BBC One’s iconic dance competition is returning to our screens once again to air its 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing this Saturday.
While fans eagerly await to see who this year’s celebrity contestants will be paired up with, TV presenter AJ Odudu has revealed she’s not the only one in her family who is excited to see her take part in the show.
As the 33-year-old squeezed into her dance shoes to train with her professional dancer for the first time, the northern lass confessed how excited her mother is to watch her twirl around the dancefloor.
And with little to no dance training to help give her a head start on the dancefloor, AJ has admitted her loving family will be supporting her every step of the way.
In an exclusive chat with the Daily Star and other publications, the Lancashire-native shared her excitement to be on the hit BBC One dance show ahead of the coupling ceremony this week.
She gushed: “I’ve always wanted to do Strictly Come Dancing so I just try every year. I'm definitely not one of those people who's like, ‘Oh they’ve asked me for the last ten years but I've been too busy.’
“No. As soon as the opportunity came up, I was straight in there. I was like, ‘Yes, obviously.’ Who’s been saying no? Not me!”
And it appears as though her family are just as excited as she is after she shared their thoughts when she finally told them the joyous news.
She admitted: “Oh my gosh, my mum is obsessed, she is so excited. She has been a fan obviously for years and years and years, we always used to watch Strictly.
“We’ll watch Strictly Come Dancing together over the telephone when we’re not in the same household.”
Although the star admitted that she is also really anxious to watch her in case she falls over or has a wardrobe malfunction on live TV.
She added“[My mum] just is beside herself so is so excited and she’s really nervous.
“What is really hilarious is that she said to me the other night that, ‘Oh, you know, I’ve got gin in for the launch show just to settle my nerves.’
“And I was thinking, ‘Mum, your nerves? What about mine?’ but she is part of it because it’s her baby girl so she’s loving it.”
When she was questioned about how she would handle the judges’ criticism, the TV presenter admitted she would be able to handle any negative feedback they threw at her as she has had to handle criticism all her life.
AJ added: “I hope I will take the criticism really well. I feel like ultimately my background and my experiences have lent themselves to building up a thick skin.
“There’s be a lot of rejection, a lot of setbacks, that’s both societally and professionally. I've been taking criticism all my life so I'll feel upset about it a little bit and then learn from it."
But the TV star revealed her mum might have something to say to this year’s judges if their negative feedback gets particularly nasty.
She admitted: “My mum on the other hand, I think she’ll be like any mum, she’s protective and only wants to hear good things about me.
“She knows the spirit of the show so I'm sure she’ll be okay with it,” she joked.
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- AJ Odudu
- Strictly Come Dancing
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