AJ Odudu has said her latest TV project, The Big Interiors Battle, shines a light on people and locations that are often ‘under-represented’ in mainstream media.
The Channel 4 programme sees aspiring homeowners decorate their dream apartment under the watchful eye of judge and architect Dara Huang, with the winner receiving the home in a former cutlery factory in Sheffield mortgage free.
Speaking ahead of the show’s launch on April 21, 35-year-old presenter AJ said: ‘This show offers a really unique opportunity to win a home done to the designer’s specification, completely mortgage free. I mean, it’s unheard of…
‘In this day and age where it’s just harder and harder to get onto the property ladder, and even if you did get on the property ladder, there’d be no way that the place would be done up to your dream standard. So it offers an amazing opportunity. And it’s really exciting.’
The rumoured Big Brother host praised: ‘And also it shines a light on a bunch of people who are just like, oh my gosh, as if this opportunity presents itself in a really cool and fun way. So I’m really excited about it, for sure.
‘And it’s set in the heart of Sheffield as well, which, again, I think is an area that is certainly under-represented in mainstream media – so that’s really exciting too.’
The show, which is based in a development from social impact property developer Capital&Centric in the centre of Sheffield, will see eight aspiring interior designers each be given the keys to an apartment where they will be challenged to make over a different room each week.
AJ revealed her own interior style is ‘bold and quite retro’, but she is prone to changing her mind, with her dream bedroom ‘an area of contention to this day’.
Speaking about the contestants on the show, the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing finalist said ‘they all stood out for different reasons.’
There’s a guy called Jordan who lives with his mum, who AJ describes as ‘ambitious’ as he reminds her of the boys she grew up with in Blackburn who love gaming and ‘going out and just having a good time.’
She cotinued: ‘There’s also a woman who lives with her partner in Devon, who has just recently had a career change and has never owned a property of her own.
‘Then there’s Patricia, who is Polish and young and lives with her family and has never lived away from home. She is designing a space that is literally all a part of her imagination, while she’s daydreaming at home.’
Finally, there’s Tara, who is a single mum with two kids.
Tara is renting, and AJ reckons there’s ‘something that is relatable about each and every character on the show.’
‘That’s what’s so beautiful to see, I feel like everyone will be able to relate to someone’s situation or interior style. They’re all fun, and they’re all going for it.’
The contestants’ work will be judged by 40-year-old Huang, who is the owner of a London-based architect and design firm.
After their designs have been judged, the hopeful contestants will return to their apartments and use an electronic key-card to learn their fate.
If the light on their door turns green, they will remain in the running for another week, but each week one contestant’s door will turn red, indicating they have been locked out of the competition for good.
The first episode of The Big Interiors Battle will air on Channel 4 on April 21 at 8pm.
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