Big Brother host AJ Odudu admits she fell into a depression when show was axed

The new BB host revealed she has received the blessing of original presenter Davina McCall.

The National Lottery's Big Eurovision Welcome,08-05-2023,AJ Odudu,Getty Images,Getty Images
AJ Odudu has revealed she fell into a depression when Big Brother was axed. (Getty Images/BBC)

New Big Brother host AJ Odudu has confessed she fell into a depression when the reality show was axed.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 finalist will co-host the upcoming ITV2 reboot with Will Best - who she worked with on Channel 5 spin-off show Big Brother's Bit On The Side until the show came to an end in 2018.

Odudu, 35, told Grazia magazine: "I've clawed my way back without being horrible, just by working hard and being myself. Back then I didn't even want to get out of my bed.

AJ Odudu and Will Best will host Big Brother on ITV2 and ITVX. (Initial TV/ITV)
AJ Odudu and Will Best will host Big Brother on ITV2 and ITVX. (Initial TV/ITV)

"I fell into a deep depression because TV just wasn't going my way. Five year's ago I was living on my dads bedroom floor in a council flat. I was like "I don't live where you guys think I live and I'm not doing what you guys think." I felt like a fraud."

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And along with feeling "proud" of herself the TV presenter revealed she was delighted to receive the 'blessing' of original Big Brother presenter Davina McCall.

She said: "'The Queen herself has given me her blessing. She sent me an amazing video when I got the gig saying, "You are going to smash it,"'

Davina McCall attends the Lady Garden Family Challenge 2023 in Hyde Park on April 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Davina McCall was the original host of Big Brother on Channel 4.(Getty Images)

McCall, 55, was the original host of Big Brother when it launched on Channel 4 in 2000. She fronted 11 series of the show as well as presenting Celebrity Big Brother from 2001 to 2010.

Odudu had her big break co-hosting Big Brother's Bit On The Side in 2013 and continued on the show until 2018 when Channel 5 decided to bring the reality series to an end after 19 years.

Best was a regular panellist on Big Brother's Bit On The Side between 2013 and 2014, working with Odudu.

Odudu has previously said of signing up to host the reboot:"I'm so excited to finally be able to say that, yes: I’m hosting Big Brother! I couldn't be happier.

"Following in the footsteps of some of my favourite broadcasting legends to front such an iconic show is an absolute honour - and to do it alongside my amazing friend Will is the icing on the cake."

ITV's Big Brother reboot reveals its iconic eye logo. (ITV)
ITV's Big Brother reboot will start in the autumn. (ITV)

The reality TV show came to an end in 2018 after 19 years but is due to return on ITV2 and the streaming platform ITVX.

The broadcaster has yet to reveal an official start date, but ITV boss Kevin Lygo said it will begin "probably September, October time".

The reboot is aimed at younger viewers.

The basic premise will remain the same: housemates living together for up to six weeks, with their every move filmed by surveillance cameras. But the famous house will feature a "contemporary new look" and a batch of contestants from "all walks of life", according to ITV.

Watch: AJ Odudu and Will Best confirmed to host Big Brother reboot