28 June 2021

TV presenter AJ Odudu on karaoke making for a great date and learning to cook like a pro

28 June 2021

AJ Odudu joins a host of other famous names taking part in the new series of Celebrity Karaoke Club.

Ahead of the second series airing on ITV2 on July 5, we speak with the presenter about the show, as well as testing her cooking smarts ahead of her appearance on new ITV series Cooking With The Stars.

What can you tell us about your role on celebrity karaoke club and how it came about?

So I was asked to take part in it and it was right after a lockdown. Gosh, there’s been so many, I don’t know which one! I just jumped at the opportunity, I just thought, ‘what a good way to see people in an environment which is just full of fun and laughter and a bit of flamboyancy’. I knew I wanted to grab the microphone and get on stage and get my karaoke on.

Have you always been the sort of person who is like, ‘Right, let’s go and do karaoke?’

No, not necessarily. I am the sort of person who, if there is karaoke somewhere in the area, I am that person who is like, ‘Let’s go to the karaoke club,’ it’s not necessarily something I plan to do. I’ve been on a couple of nights out… when I’m like on a date or whatever and there’s nowhere else to go and I’m like, ‘I know this one place but it is a karaoke club and I will be singing, so if that doesn’t completely put you off then let’s go’. I jump at the opportunity to have fun and just be a bit silly.

Karaoke is actually a great date idea…

It’s so much fun and also I think it’s a good way to see whether they can take you, like, full throttle. Like, can you handle me when I am dancing on a table, singing out of tune, like, is this a vibe?

Do you reckon your dance moves or singing is your strength?

I’m more shouty and active. I don’t know whether anything I brought to the stage could be counted as singing or dancing per se, but I am very physical. I like to use the stage and there’s nothing subtle about me. I mean, hey listen, I committed, let’s just say that, I fully committed.

Were you quite nervous and how do you deal with nerves in situations like this?

I wasn’t nervous in the slightest. I’m more nervous now that I’ve done it, because I wasn’t nervous, I was absolutely shameless and so I think I’m more nervous to watch it back…

There is also going to be a karaoke club: drag edition?

I am really happy to see drag kings and queens celebrated on this show and long live the celebration of that culture and those stories and those voices.

You’re doing so many things right now, you’ve got ITV’s cooking with the stars coming up…

I’m so excited about Cooking With The Stars, what an amazing opportunity to actually learn how to cook properly. When I got asked to do it I just thought, ‘I can cook, I can do this,’ and then I got put with a professional chef and realised very quickly that actually I’m not a cook, cook. Then I thought, ‘I’ve bitten off more than I [can] chew,’ There were a lot of new skills that I learned and what an amazing experience.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

My biggest lesson is just that, to really stay in the moment, those moments, sometimes where you’re saying, ‘Oh, I don’t know, I’m not good enough,’ or ‘I don’t feel secure,’ or anything like that. I’m just thinking, whatever I do now, I just want to take it for what it is. I think we’re all guilty of being part of a culture where it’s always like what you’re doing next and actually I’m very mindful to be in the moment and just enjoy what I’m doing this second, because life moves so fast, and you don’t know what’s around the corner. A pandemic could be round the corner.

Celebrity Karaoke Club starts at 9pm on Monday, July 5 on ITV2 and ITV Hub.

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