Strictly Come Dancing 2021: AJ Odudu introduces Kai to her mum in Blackburn after 'confirming' romance in cheeky tweet

STRICTLY'S AJ Odudu introduced her dance partner Kai Widdrington to her family at the home of Blackburn Rovers yesterday after 'confirming' romance rumours.

The Lancashire lass took Kai to her hometown football club's ground, Ewood Park, where they walked the touchline and posed in the dugout. AJ worked in the stadium before finding fame as a TV presenter and relished the return.

She said: "I've bought Kai to Blackburn. You've made it, Kai. We're at Ewood Park with some of my family. This is where I used to work, so it's brilliant. I'm having a great time, are you having a great time?"

He smiled: "I'm loving it. Wanna kick a ball."

It comes after AJ appeared to confirm the pair's romance at the weekend by liking a cheeky tweet about them “getting it on”.

The 33-year-old liked a post reading: “Flipping love @AJOdudu what a top girl! Such a great attitude & lovely personality. I hope she is getting it on with Kai cos she deserves it! #StrictlyComeDancing #Strictly #Strictlycatchup.”

Read our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for the latest news and gossip…

  • Milica Cosic

    Which celebs are still left in the competition?

    Only six celebrities remain, all competing for that Glitterball trophy.

    The stars that are left in the competition are:

    • AJ Odudu 
    • Dan Walker 
    • John Whaite
    • Rhys Stephenson 
    • Rose Ayling-Ellis 
    • Tilly Ramsay

    Explained: What is Giovanni’s background?

    Giovanni is a 31-year-old professional dancer who joined Strictly in 2015.

    He was born in Sicily and started dance lessons at a young age.

    The talented dancer is yet to win Strictly, and says his greatest achievement to date is winning the Italian Championships in 2012.

    Giovanni says his favourite dance is the jive, as it reflects his cheekiness.

    Inside Strictly star Giovanni Pernice’s string of failed romances

    ITALIAN stallion Giovanni Pernice is a hit with the ladies both on and off the dancefloor – but when it comes to relationships, he struggles to make them go the distance.

    It emerged the Strictly Come Dancing hunk, 31, split from Love Island star Maura Higgins, 30, in October this year – despite a source previously claiming Giovanni has “never felt like this about anyone before”.

    Since joining Strictly in 2015, Giovanni has dated a string of sizzling women, with all of his public romances involving gushing posts and PDAs on social media.

    So what’s going wrong for Giovanni? Here we take a look at his failed romances with some of showbusiness’ most glamorous ladies.

    • Georgia May Foote
    • Jessica Wright
    • Laura Whitmore
    • Katie McGlynn
    • Luba Mushtuk
    • Ashley Roberts
    • Maura Higgins

    Read the article in full here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Odds on favourite to lift Glitterball trophy

      Tilly Ramsay at odds of 7-4 is the second favourite for elimination this weekend, followed by Rhys Stephenson at 4-1.

      Meanwhile Rose Ayling-Ellis remains the firm favourite to win the show, odds on at 1-5.

      “Rose has one hand on the trophy already in our eyes and it will take a spectacular slip-up or shock result for any of the other remaining contestants to win this series of Strictly Come Dancing,” said Aitkenhead.

    • Milica Cosic

      Mel Giedroyc to also join Strictly Christmas special

      Mel Giedroyc has been announced as the latest celebrity taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

      The comedian and broadcaster was revealed on BBC Two spin-off It Takes Two on Tuesday night.

      Giedroyc will dance with British professional dancer Neil Jones during this year’s festive special.

      She said: “I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Christmas since I got my first guinea-pig from Santa in 1978.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Strictly’s Janette leaves The One Show guest in tears (Continued…)

      As Jacqui gasped in shock, Janette continued: "Yes Jacqui Birch, I’m talking to you. The work you do is truly wonderful and means so much to everyone at St Peter's and if you make your way to the school hall, you’ll find there’s a little special surprise waiting for you.”

      Jacqui wiped tears from her eyes as she made her way along the corridor and she asked: "Did you know that would happen? You’re making me cry.”

      As she entered the school hall she saw Strictly pro Katya waiting with all the children to surprise her before she was awarded with her trophy.

      Jacqui then received another surprise, as singer Rod Stewart popped up in a pre-recorded message for her.

      He said: "Jacqui, I hear you’ve been dressing up as a rock star to teach times tables.

      "Well, you’re definitely a rock star in our eyes. Congratulations on winning Teacher of the Year in a Primary School."

    • Milica Cosic

      Strictly’s Janette leaves The One Show guest in tears

      STRICTLY'S Janette Manrara left a guest on The One Show in tears after a teaching report took an emotional turn.

      Wednesday's episode of the BBC show saw the team pay tribute to teachers up and down the country as they worked alongside The Pearson National Teaching Awards.

      Hosts Jermaine Jenas and Lauren Laverne enlisted the help of Strictly stars Janette and Katya Jones to deliver the Teacher of the Year Award for a Primary School to a lady called Jacqui Birch.

      Reporter Mehreen Baig spoke with Jacqui's headteacher, co-workers and students about the impact she had at the school, before speaking to an unsuspecting Jacqui about her love of teaching.

      Jacqui then headed off for a tea break, but got the shock of her life when Janette appeared on the TV screen in the staff room.

      As the Strictly theme tune blared out, Jacqui asked: "Am I on Strictly?"

      Janette then said: "Hello, and welcome to a very special edition of It Takes Two celebrating a Strictly super fan.

      "This teacher gets top scores across the board and her pupils think she A-maz-ing! And headteacher Nicola Green has just one word to say: Fab-u-lous!"

    • Milica Cosic

      Anger among fans over Arlene Philips comments

      Fans have slammed ITV after Arlene Phillips was shown making a joke about OCD.

      The former Strictly Come Dancing judge, 78, made the comment about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the launch episode of the new series.

      As she travelled in the car to meet c a m p mates, she said: ” I cannot live with dirt — I’m completely OCD about everything in my life being organised, clean, neat and tidy.”

      But viewers were unimpressed.

      One tweeted: “I’m disappointed ITV didn’t edit it out. OCD is not a funny quirky desire to be clean. It is a mental health condition.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Strictly’s AJ Odudu introduces Kai Widdrington to her family

      STRICTLY'S AJ Odudu introduced her dance partner Kai Widdrington to her family at the home of Blackburn Rovers yesterday after 'confirming' romance rumours.

      The Lancashire lass took Kai to her hometown football club's ground, Ewood Park, where they walked the touchline and posed in the dugout.

      AJ worked in the stadium before finding fame as a TV presenter and relished the return.

      She said: "I've bought Kai to Blackburn. You've made it, Kai. We're at Ewood Park with some of my family.

      "This is where I used to work, so it's brilliant. I'm having a great time, are you having a great time?"

      He smiled: "I'm loving it. Wanna kick a ball."

      The group then posed for a team photo with AJ and Kai on either side of her parents.

    • Milica Cosic

      Kai & AJ almost kissed again

      Viewers went into meltdown on the show during Musicals Week after the pair almost kissed again.

      They were left lingering at the end of their Waltz to Sound of Music hit Edelweiss with fans suggesting they were about to smooch.

      In the VT leading up to the routine, AJ and Kai danced on a hill with the London skyline behind them.

      Kai suggested AJ kiss him and she replied: "Kai, I'm not going to kiss ya!"

    • Milica Cosic

      Strictly’s Kai reveals painful injury

      STRICTLY Come Dancing professional Kai Widdrington has revealed a painful groin injury he gained in training alongside AJ Odudu.

      The choreographer blamed his celebrity dance partner for the bizarre "spider bite" mark left on his inner thigh after being "stood on multiple times".

      Kai, 26, and AJ, 33, documented their trip to Blackburn on the TV presenter's Instagram on Thursday afternoon as they discussed his injury.

      The Big Brother's Bit on the Side host admitted she was "obsessed" with their upcoming performance, but it had been taking its toll on their bodies.

      Kai interrupted to update fans that he was the one "in pain" after suffering from the injury to his groin as his legs had been "taking a battering".

      "However, I am in pain. I've been stood on multiple times, my legs have taken a battering," he explained. "I can't show you because it's not PG.

      "It's very much in the groin area. I've been stood on, heel to the groin. It looks like I've been bitter by a spider."

      Kai revealed that AJ had "stood on him" multiple times during training Credit: INSTAGRAM
    • Milica Cosic

      Fred Sirieix on joining Strictly

      Speaking of his involvement in the show, he said: "I absolutely love Christmas, so I’m delighted to be taking part in the Strictly Christmas special and to be partnered with the magnificent Dianne.

      "I hope my dance moves bring some Christmas joy to everybody watching at home and don’t make the judges say 'Bah, Humbug!'"

      The 49-year-old, however, admitted that dancing isn't exactly his forte.

      Revealing his lack of rhythm, the lovable Frenchmen said: "I’m a bit of a dad dancer. I don’t have any shame – I will give it a good crack."

    • Milica Cosic

      Anne-Marie joining Repair Shop's Jay & First Dates' Fred

      Anne-Marie will go up against Repair Shop host Jay and First Dates maître d' Fred who have already been confirmed for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

      The two television favourites were unveiled on Strictly spin-off It Takes Two by host Rylan Clark on Monday evening's show.

      Rylan teased viewers with an array of clues ahead of the official reveal, with Fred represented by a red rose, while Jay's platter featured some sandpaper and construction materials.

      Much to the delight of fans of the show, the festive special will be making its eagerly awaited comeback after being axed last year – after Covid restrictions made it impossible to film.

      Furniture restorer Jay has been chased by the BBC for years to do Strictly, but was never available.

      However, taking a few days out to learn a routine for the Christmas show proved just the ticket.

      He explained: "I was always too busy but I have always wanted to learn how to dance. That’s one of the greatest achievements."

      Jay will be partnered with professional dancer Luba Mushtuk.

      Fred, meanwhile, will be dancing with Dianne Buswell.

    • Milica Cosic

      Anne-Marie for Xmas special 

      Anne-Marie has been partnered up with Graziano Di Prima who danced with Loose Women star Judi Love before her exit earlier this series.

      Delivering his verdict on her training so far, Graziano said: "I'm really confident, she's working so hard. She's doing really well."

      Anne-Marie will go up against Repair Shop host Jay and First Dates maître d' Fred who have already been confirmed for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

    • Milica Cosic

      Strictly signs singer Anne-Marie for Xmas special 

      STRICTLY Come Dancing will see pop star Anne-Marie learn to dance for the BBC show's Christmas special.

      The singer – who is best pals with Ed Sheeran – is joining TV stars Jay Blades and Fred Sirieix in the celebrity line-up.

      After It Takes Two host Janette Manrara made the announcement tonight, Anne-Marie appeared on the show by video call.

      She joked: "If it all goes wrong I might just whack out a song quickly. I hope that will get me a few points.

      "I'm trying so hard. I'm learning so much."

      She added: "I'm very competitive."

    • Milica Cosic

      Still no confirmation on Craig’s return to show

      Craig-Revel Horwood is still in isolation after testing positive for Covid.

      He will only return to the show if he tests negative next week and is back in good health.

      Speaking before last Saturday’s show, Strictly spokesperson said: “Craig Revel Horwood has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now self-isolating following the latest government guidelines.

      “While Craig will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, all being well he will return the following week.”

      He was double vaccinated and, in the same series that it emerged three pros hadn’t been jabbed, criticised anyone who turned it down.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ladbrokes: Dan Walker ODDS-ON for Strictly boot

      DAN WALKER IS ONCE AGAIN favourite with Ladbrokes to be sent packing from Strictly Come Dancing this weekend.

      Despite recording his best score of the series last time out, the bookies make the BBC Breakfast presenter an odds-on shot at 5/6 to be eliminated from the competition this weekend.

      Elsewhere, 7/4 says Tilly Ramsay’s time is finally up, with every other name currently being 4/1 or bigger for the boot.

      Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “It seems Dan Walker has got more lives than a cat, with the BBC Breakfast star still clinging on to his Strictly spot, but the odds suggest this will finally be the weekend he’s sent packing.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      When does Strictly return to our screens?

      The next episode of Strictly takes place this Saturday, November 27, 2021, at 6.55pm.

      And fans will have to wait for the results show, which airs the following day at 7.20pm on Sunday, November 28, 2021.

      You can also catch any missed episodes on the BBC iPlayer.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Explained: Has Shirley Ballas had plastic surgery?

      Shirley – who is currently loved up with boyfriend Danny Taylor – has previously had liposuction, breast implants, and, in 2019, implant removals.

      She's also had Botox in the past, but the judge, who has turned 60 this year, has recently revealed that she would consider having a 'mini facelift'.

      Speaking to The Sun, she said:“I’d have a mini-facelift, just this bit here. I’m suddenly 60.

      “Your skin gets more wrinkled on your hands, your neck starts to go and your bum starts to sag, you take your bra off and the titties fall to your knees.

      “You get up every morning, there’s another lump and bump and you think, ‘Where did that come from?’”

    • Joseph Gamp

      Explained: Shirley Ballas' rise to fame

      After her time with Nigel Tiffany, Ballas moved on to become Sammy Stopford's partner. The pair fell in love and got married and went on to become one of the fastest rising couples in ballroom dance.

      They danced together from when she was 18 to 23 and won all the major titles worldwide.

      The pair then parted ways and she met Corky Ballas, who she married and had son Mark with in 1986.

      Corky and Shirley competed together and won their first professional Latin title in 1984 and went on to win it a further eight years in a row.

      In 1990, they moved back to the UK and went on to win the Open British Professional Latin title in 1995 and '96.

      Shirley was previously a judge on the American version of Dancing With The Stars.

    • Joseph Gamp

      What is Shirley Ballas's net worth?

      Shirley's estimated net worth is around £3.8millon.

      Shirley joined Strictly in 2017 and was paid £180,000 by the BBC for that series.

      This was £70,000 short of the amount given to her predecessor Len Goodman, 75, for the same role.

      But in 2018 she landed a victory when she received a pay rise to equal Len's former £250k salary.

      Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli reportedly earns the same amount, while Craig Revel Horwood and former judge Darcey Bussell received £180,000 for each series of Strictly.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Explained: Who is Shirley Ballas?

      Shirley Annette Rich was born in Wallasey on 6 September, 1960 – making her 60-years-old.

      Ballas caught the dancing fever from a young age, and began dancing at age 7. She started performing competitively the following years.

      At 15, Ballas moved to North Yorkshire to partner British Ballroom Champion Nigel Tiffany. As dance partners, they won Professional Latin at Blackpool Dance Festival in 1983.

      Ballas stopped competing in dance competitions in 1996, becoming a dance coach and judge for ballroom and Latin American competitions.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Rose Ayling-Ellis firm favourite to lift Glitterball

      Meanwhile Rose Ayling-Ellis remains the firm favourite to win the show, odds on at 1-5.

      "Rose has one hand on the trophy already in our eyes and it will take a spectacular slip-up or shock result for any of the other remaining contestants to win this series of Strictly Come Dancing," said Aitkenhead.

    • Joseph Gamp

      List: The remaining celebrities in Strictly 2021

      There are still six celebrities all dancing for that Glitterball trophy.

      The stars that are left in the competition are:

      • AJ Odudu 
      • Dan Walker 
      • John Whaite
      • Rhys Stephenson 
      • Rose Ayling-Ellis 
      • Tilly Ramsay

      The man responsible for the music

      Musical director and arranger Dave Arch is the man in charge of the band.

      He is a British pianist, conductor, arranger and composer who has enjoyed a prolific career covering a broad spectrum of the music business including albums, films, and commercials, live and television work.

      He is also the Musical Director for recent productions of the Royal Variety Performance show on ITV as well as shows like Popstar To Operastar.

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