Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu has revealed a serious injury to his leg a few days before his dance debut.
The TV presenter – who will be making her debut at the BBC Ballroom competition this weekend – took to Instagram to reveal her painful toes.
AJ, 33, who is known for co-presenting the Channel 5 show Big Brothers Bit on the Side, told fans that he already had plaster on his feet.
Looking at herself in the mirror during her first rehearsal, the TV star joked that her toes felt like they were “broken” for her heels.
“Hello! Darling on the first day in the dance studio – and I already have plaster on my feet,” she can be heard saying while filming her toes.
“I’m in agony! But it’s really funny,” enthusiastic AJ added, before smiling and giving the camera a thumbs up.
The Telly presenter also posed for a snap in her rehearsal gear — a matching two-piece workout set — and infamous stiletto heels.
“I feel like I’ve got all my toes broken,” AJ joked, before adding that she was “just kidding”, admitting that she was more than happy to dance.
The star was also seen hanging out with fellow celebrity contestant Ugo Mooney in the behind-the-scenes rehearsal space.
AJ is set to appear on Saturday for the first time in Strictly Come Dancing 2021, as the series begins with an introduction to the couples.
It comes weeks after AJ opened up about how he almost quit TV for good after being branded a “black girl with a dodgy accent.”
AJ, who had constantly endured racist abuse as a child growing up in Blackburn, was hit by a barrage of online hate following her debut.
The abuse, which focused on her Northern accent, was so intense that Channel 4 staff advised her to receive eloquent texts to help “soften” her voice.
AJ recalled: “It was fantastic but with that exposure comes a lot of pressure and a lot of criticism.
“I remember people tweeting, ‘Who is that black girl with that nerdy accent’ and, ‘Why does she sound like that?’ It made me feel so insecure (because) people were commenting on things I had no real control over.
“And it didn’t help that someone internally said, ‘AJ, we think you should get some help with your voice. Maybe you can speak clearer and we can soften your accent’.
“All my insecurities were being reinforced by the team that was there to support me. Then, when my contract didn’t get renewed, it was tough.
“TV is one of those industries where you are not really told why something didn’t work.
“So you wondered, ‘Was that my accent? Was it what I looked like?’ I didn’t work in TV after years. It was so painful.
All my insecurities were being reinforced by the team that was there to support me.
A J Odudu
“It felt like it wasn’t my accent that was the problem, it was my accent and my appearance combined. In a way, ‘we can deal with a northern accent but not a northern accent on a black woman’.
Speaking on the Nobody Told Me podcast, AJ continued: “Looking back, I’m very proud that I’ve managed to get here by staying true to myself and not changing. Keeping my accent, my Having opinions, keeping my voice.”
AJ will appear in this year’s edition of Strictly alongside newly announced stars John White, Robert Webb and Rhys Stephenson.