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Two won't tango Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu ruled out of final due to ankle injury

AJ was partnered with former Dancing With The Stars pro-dancer Kai Widdrington.


Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu have withdrawn from the Strictly final (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu have withdrawn from the Strictly final (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu have withdrawn from the Strictly final (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu is unable to compete in this weekend’s finale due to an ankle injury.

The TV presenter has been left using crutches after she tore a ligament in her right ankle.

She initially hoped to take part in the final, but will now no longer be able to compete for the glitterball trophy with her professional dance partner Kai Widdrington.

In a statement, AJ said: "Learning to dance over the last 13 weeks has been an incredible honour and to do it alongside someone as special, patient and devoted as Kai is something I'll treasure forever.”

"Thank you to the Strictly family for the experience, the medical team for trying to get me back on my feet and mostly, to everyone at home for watching and supporting.”

“You've made this experience one to remember.”

AJ wished the other two finalists John Whaite and Rose Ayling the very best.

"Strictly Come Dancing has been a lifelong dream and I'm glad it came true. Good luck to my partners in dance, John and Johannes and Rose and Giovanni. I will be cheering you on (on one leg!)"

Kai, who joined the BBC show after a stint at RTE as a pro-dancer on Dancing With The Stars said that AJ was “the absolute best partner I could ever have asked for in my first year on the show".

"I've been absolutely honoured to get to dance with the incredible AJ Odudu for the last few months and although neither of us wanted our journey to end this way, AJ's health and safety are by far the most important things."


Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu (BBC/PA)

Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu (BBC/PA)

Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu (BBC/PA)

Strictly's executive producer Sarah James said: "Although this is not how we would have wanted her Strictly journey to end, AJ's health and wellbeing come first, and everyone involved in the show sends her all our love and wish her a speedy recovery."

Lancashire born AJ Odudu is a 33-year-old television presenter who has hosted shows on Channel 4, Channel 5, 4Music and the BBC.

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She began her career as a reporter for BBC Blast, at BBC Radio Lancashire and has a degree in English and Politics from Keele University.

During the first week of Strictly, AJ and Kai topped the leader board with a score of 34 for their jive to Gold Dust by DJ Fresh. In week seven they landed a score of 39 for their Charleston dance to Don't Bring Lulu.

AJ and Kai have been subject to romance rumours during their time on the programme.

Kai was in a five year relationship with Giulia Dotta, a fellow professional dancer whom he worked with on RTE’s Dancing With The Stars.

He worked on the programme as a professional dancer from 2017. During his first year on the programme he was partnered with comedian Katherine Lynch, and came in 8th. The following year he came in second place with Anna Geary. In 2019, partnered with Demi Isaac Oviawe he came in 8th.

Meanwhile, during the last series of the show which aired in 2020 he came in second with former Miss Ireland Grainne Gallanagh.

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