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Presenters announced for Channel 4’s Black To Front day

The project celebrates black talent in the TV industry.


Sir Trevor McDonald (Ian West/PA)

Sir Trevor McDonald (Ian West/PA)

Sir Trevor McDonald (Ian West/PA)

Sir Trevor McDonald and AJ Odudu have been announced as presenters for Channel 4’s Black To Front day.

The broadcaster plans to air programmes fronted by black talent and featuring black contributors to champion those voices and stories across a day in September.

Odudu, 33, will join Bafta-winning comedian Mo Gilligan as co-host of The Big Breakfast, while newsreader Phil Gayle will deliver the headlines from the show’s original east London location, the lockkeepers’ cottages.

The light-hearted weekday show ran from 1992 to 2002 and featured a rolling line-up of hosts including Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin.

Journalist and broadcaster Sir Trevor, 81, will host long-running game show Countdown. He will be joined by poet Lemn Sissay in Dictionary Corner and scientist Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon will bring her expertise to the numbers round.

Sissay, the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, will be joined in Dictionary Corner by a special guest, journalist and beer blogger Marverine Cole.

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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.”


AJ Odudu (Ian West/PA)

AJ Odudu (Ian West/PA)


AJ Odudu (Ian West/PA)

Sir Trevor 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.”

Black to Front was conceived by commissioning editors Vivienne Molokwu and Shaminder Nahal and planned over a year with a number of production partners.

Channel 4’s deputy director of programmes Kelly Webb-Lamb 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.”

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