INJURY prevented AJ Odudu from appearing in the Strictly final and live tour – but thankfully it hasn’t stopped her landing a top telly job.
I can reveal the popular presenter is the new host of Channel 4’s reality challenge series The Bridge, which returns to screens later this year.
Scottish actor James McAvoy narrated the debut series last November.
But a revamp has seen AJ brought in to front the adventure show alongside explorer Aldo Kane in the paradise islands of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
And as the Instagram picture reveals, she is making the most of the tropical retreat between shooting for the show.
A TV source said: “Landing the new hosting gig has perked AJ up following the disappointment of missing out on the Strictly final.
“She has been in great demand after proving a hit with audiences.
“Canal 4 bosses are delighted to have snapped her up in what will be AJ’s first job since leaving the dancefloor.”
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The Bridge is an eight-part series featuring 16 strangers split into two teams.
They join forces and attempt to build a bridge over 1,000ft of water in just 12 days to reach the £200,000 cash prize held on top of Fortune Rock.
Whoever gets to the jackpot first has to decide whether or not to split the money with their teammates.
Along the way the contestants will have to overcome a series of physical and mental challenges and avoid temptations that threaten to derail their bid for glory.
AJ said of her new gig: “From the Strictly ballroom I have taken off on to my next, new adventure.
“It’s so exciting to front a show that promises to push the envelope.
“I know The Bridge is going to be bold, full of excitement and with plenty of drama. Bring it on.”
AJ was forced to pull out of the Strictly showpiece in December after injuring her ankle ligaments during training.
She had secured her place in the final with professional dance partner Kai Widdrington.
The contest was eventually won by EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.
I’m sure a sunshine trip to Vietnam will help AJ’s healing process.
Lorraine in hot on chilly dip
IF Lorraine Kelly’s shivering on telly this morning, este es el por qué.
The telly host tried out the not-so-hot trend of cold outdoor swimming for a segment on her ITV morning show, to inspire viewers to set the refresh button this winter.
She was filmed going for a dip at Parliament Hill Lido in North London alongside members of the Outdoor Swimming Society in scenes to be shown on today’s show.
Lorena, dressed in a wetsuit, said afterwards: “My goodness, that was cold but fantastic.
“I’ve got to get out of this wetsuit very quickly, get a cup of tea.
“But I’m doing that again. Tingly, tingly, tingly!"
I’ll stick to saunas.
Bruno back as a tour de force
The Italian has been more outrageous than ever, calling his co-judge Craig Revel Horwood “overweight” and comparing him to a drunk.
An audience member said: “Bruno was on one – and was clearly keen to impress.
“He was revelling being back alongside Craig and Shirley Ballas and was winding them up all night.”
It is still not confirmed whether Bruno will rejoin the judging panel for the 2022 series after stand-in Anton Du Beke impressed in his absence for the last series.
El año previo, Bruno only appeared via video link for the Sunday results show due to Covid travel restrictions.
He couldn’t jet back to film Strictly in Britain while also judging on the US version, Bailando con las estrellas.
After four nights in Birmingham, the Strictly tour resumed in Leeds last night.
The audience saw John and Johannes recreate one of their TV routines, with other dancers in same-sex pairings performing in a group around them.
The last of the 22 live tour dates is at London’s O2 Arena on February 13.
For ticket details, ver strictlycomedancinglive.com.
Colson’s in games
FANS of Coronation Street will get double helpings of Colson Smith when he appears on new ITV series The Games later this year.
El actor, who lost ten stone in weight during lockdown, will compete in Olympic sports alongside other celebrities.
Una fuente dijo: “When he was approached by The Games he couldn’t turn them down.
“He shed weight by running and now loves keeping fit.”
Colson – police officer Craig Tinker on the Cobbles – is The Games’ latest big-name signing after I revealed last week that Mark Wright had agreed to take part.
El espectáculo, which will be hosted by Freddie Flintoff and Holly Willoughby, has been repeatedly pushed back because of the pandemic.
AFTER his success in the lead role of Channel 4 Aids drama It’s A Sin, Olly Alexander says he is desperate to do more acting.
On ITV’s Lorraine he revealed: “I definitely will do at some point.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be. I’d love to play a sexy witch with magic powers.”
Good luck with that one, Olly.
Gazza: I won’t do snakes
REGAN Gascoigne and his football legend dad Paul want to take on Bradley and Barney Walsh by making their own father and son show.
los Bailando sobre hielo estrella, who is competing in this year’s series, says although the pair would “kill each other with OCDness”, they would make great telly.
Although former England ace Gazza admits Regan would have to do the driving as he’s banned from getting behind the wheel.
Regan said: “I would love to do something together, to put in those sorts of challenges. That would be hilarious.”
Gazza adicional: “I’m up for most things but I hate snakes, and I hate f****** flying.
“Anything else I can deal with.”
The Gascoignes were offered their own reality show, featuring Regan’s sister and Gazza’s stepdaughter Bianca, several years ago, but never got off the ground.
Gazza added: “When they wanted they did the Osbornes, they wanted to do the Gascoignes, but no, didn’t happen.”
There’s still time…
A complete balls-up
ED Balls set himself up to be slated by Scots when Good Morning Britain’s entertainment editor Richard Arnold appeared on the show in a kilt to mark Burns Night.
The former Shadow Chancellor, in as a guest host, made the mistake of asking Richard what was “under his skirt”.
You could say it was a complete balls-up.