The presenter, 32, told MailOnline: ‘2020 is not the year for my love life,’ as she revealed what she looks for in a partner and why she no longer uses dating apps.
Discussing the pandemic, she said: ‘I have been all alone, I didn’t move back in with family, I didn’t see anyone. I took it so seriously for months, so to come out of it still sane, I was really proud of myself!
‘2020 is not the year for my love life sadly’: The Voice UK’s AJ Odudu claimed COVID-19 ruined her dating prospects and revealed what she now looks for in a partner
‘It’s so funny because I thought “right this is the time I’m going to go on a date!” and then just as I was getting out there, lockdown two happened and now I’m just focused on work.
‘I do not mix business with pleasure. 2020 is not the year for my love life sadly.’
Prior to the November lockdown, AJ embarked on a quest for love on TV shows, Manhunting With My Mum in 2018, and Celebrity First Dates Hotel in 2019.
But the TV sensation failed to find love, so she has decided to put the brakes on dating in hopes of meeting someone organically.
She said: ‘It’s so funny because I thought “right this is the time I’m going to go on a date!” and then just as I was getting out there, lockdown two happened and now I’m focused on work’
She added: ‘I’ve used Raya in the past and apps like Hinge, but no I just don’t meet anyone, aside from TV programs I’ve done, I just don’t bother.
‘I’m still hoping that I’ll meet my man through a friend and he’ll of been there all along, you know what I mean?’
AJ also revealed what she looks for in a partner as she continued: ‘I am genuinely a personality girl, I like charismatic guys who can take the mickey out of themselves but when it comes to work, they are focused and they know what they want in themselves and in a partner.
‘When I find him I’m going to be like “where the bl***y h**l have you been?!”‘
AJ, who grew up in Blackburn, Lancashire, with seven siblings, admits her parents have a rather unusual relationship, but are united in their admiration of her established TV career.
AJ said of dating: ‘I’ve used Raya and apps like Hinge in the past, but no I just don’t meet anyone… I’m still hoping that I’ll meet my man through a friend’
She said: ‘My parents have a very unconventional arrangement but they are still together and married, my dad lives in London and my mum lives in Blackburn.
‘So they have these honeymoon periods every few months and it’s just jokes.
‘I’m definitely the first one in my family to do anything in this line of work and they are really proud and excited, especially during lockdown, it’s really uplifting for my mum to see me on the TV.’
AJ’s parents came over to the UK from Nigeria in the 1970s.
However many of her family members are still based there, where protests are taking place over police brutality.
Protests began after a video circulated showing a man allegedly being beaten by police officers in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Actor Idris Elba and singer Beyonce have spoken out after Nigerian security forces allegedly shot and killed protesters rallying against police in October.
AJ still remains very concerned for the safety of her family, as she said: ‘The majority of my family are still in Nigeria in different parts such as Delta State, Lagos, and Benin City, so it has been a really stressful time trying to contact them all.
‘They’re all luckily safe and well. I’ve been in Nigeria myself personally alone when elections have been going on and it was a bit ropey.
‘Everyone in my family is doing what they can to stay safe, but they are also trying to fight for progressive change. They are a lot braver than me because here we can safely protest whereas they are going to war.’
For AJ, the current conflict in Nigeria has made her feel ‘incredibly grateful’ to be in a position where she can speak out safely.
Testing times: The TV star revealed she is concerned for the safety of her family in Nigeria amid protests against police brutality and the loathed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
However, she thinks there are improvements to be made in Britain surrounding racism and equality.
AJ previously revealed that she has been ‘physically beaten, spat at, and called disgraceful names’ based on the colour of her skin, and she believes we are still a long way from completely remedying entrenched racism.
She reflected: ‘I think there’s a lot more that needs to be done but I am seeing a change, a more diverse range of voices who are listened to, even if we’re not fully represented, I think we just need to keep the momentum going.
‘I’m under no illusion that it can be changed overnight but I think we’re heading in the right direction and long may it continue.’
AJ is a busy woman right now and is currently brightening the day of contestants on the ITV show, Don’t Rock The Boat.
Back to work: AJ is also a part of ITV show, Don’t Rock The Boat, alongside her favourite ‘Lancashire lad’ Freddie Flintoff
The TV presenter hosted the celebrity rowing competition earlier this year alongside cricket ace, Freddie Flintoff, whom she has grown fond of.
She said: ‘He’s really good fun! He’s a laid back guy, the sort of guy I’ve grown up with because he’s a Lancashire lad essentially, and so he has the kind of temperament that I’m used to. He was really great to work with.’
AJ is also a backstage presenter for The Voice UK, and is convinced the show’s famous faces could star in a special edition of the rowing show in the future.
She said: ‘Will.i.am was obsessed with the show. Emma and Matt Willis now want to be on Don’t Rock The Boat as does Sir Tom Jones.
‘He really loved the show and it was really good to have the support from The Voice UK. We should definitely do a Voice UK edition, I’d be so happy about that.’
Meanwhile at her London home, AJ has been tuning into the newest series of I’m A Celeb, and would love the show’s contestants to make an appearance on Don’t Rock The Boat in the future.
TV crossover: AJ is also a backstage presenter for The Voice UK and hopes the show’s stars such as Tom Jones and Will.i.am could feature in a special edition of Don’t Rock The Boat
She said: ‘I’d love to see Shane [Richie] on there and Beverley [Callard]. I think they would be hilarious… but also you do need someone for the humour!
‘Someone who is struggling, someone who is throwing up, and I think that would of course be Jordan North. He can’t hold anything down, bless him, he’s so nervous but I think he would be so fun to watch on Don’t Rock The Boat.’
Aside from keeping up to date with her hectic work schedule and new episodes of I’m A Celeb, AJ has become one with nature by upping her fitness regime and spending additional time outdoors.
She said on Monday during ZENB’s Bites of Nature podcast: ‘My go to exercise is running and skipping. Even when it’s cold and dark when you wake up, I make a conscious effort to go for walks and enjoy bite sized moments of nature so I can reap the positive effects.’
AJ Odudu joins host Jasmine Hemsley for the first episode of the ‘Bites of Nature’ podcast for plant powered snack brand ZENB – a five part series that explores how you can use the nature that surrounds you to improve wellbeing
Finding inner zen: Aside from keeping up to date with her hectic work schedule AJ has become one with nature by upping her fitness regime and spending additional time outdoors