Channel 4 has announced AJ Odudu and Sir Trevor McDonald will present shows as part of Black to Front, the diversity project airing this September. Across the day Channel 4 will broadcast programming fronted by Black talent and featuring Black contributors, to champion Black voices and stories, and the Black talent that make, shape and star in British TV.
Presenter AJ Odudu will join Bafta-winning Mo Gilligan as co-host of The Big Breakfast and newsreader Phil Gayle will return to read the news as this iconic show comes live from its original East London location, the Lock Keepers’ Cottages. A staple of the channel’s morning schedule from 1992 to 2002, The Big Breakfast defied the rules when it came to breakfast telly. Retaining plenty of its original anarchic spirit, risqué sense of humour and distinctive energy, the Black to Front special will see the presenters flanked by a mix of famous guests to kick start the day with a bang.
On Channel 4’s longest running show, Countdown, eminent journalist and broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald will host the iconic quiz show. Joining Sir Trevor in the Salford studio will be acclaimed poet and playwright Lemillion Sissay OBE who will adjudicate the words from Dictionary Corner and maths prodigy Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE who will bring her arithmetical expertise to the numbers round. Lemillion will be joined in Dictionary Corner by special guest, award-winning journalist & beer sommelier, Marverine Cole.
Odudu said “I absolutely can’t wait to get stuck into The Big Breakfast. It is such an iconic show to be part of and I am buzzing it is finally coming back! I’m so looking forward to working with Mo and I can’t wait to wake up the nation. I’m thrilled to be part of Channel 4’s Black to Front – which quite rightly gives a platform to deserving Black British TV talent across our industry, both on and off-screen. It’s going to be really special. ’
McDonald said “I am proud and delighted to be presenting Countdown on this special day; I have always enjoyed watching Countdown, a show that has been around for almost as long as I have. “
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4’s Deputy Director of Programmes said: “From the voices that introduce the shows to the people appearing on screen, across social and All 4, the entire day will be fronted by Black talent and will tell the stories of Black British communities in a demonstration of Black excellence. Behind the camera Channel 4 is working together with our production partners to shape ambitious and meaningful off-screen commitments, making sure that Black to Front lives on beyond one day, accelerating careers and bringing about significant change that will leave a lasting legacy across the UK TV industry.”
Planned over a year, and working with numerous production partners, Black to Front is part of Channel 4’s on-going commitment to improve Black representation on and off screen.