Ashley Modurotolu Banjo
4 October 1988
Leytonstone, London, England
|Occupation||Dancer, Television Presenter|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Children||Rose Adura Banjo & Micah Grace Banjo|
Ashley Modurotolu Banjo (born 4 October 1988), is an English street dancer, choreographer and actor. He is the leader of dance troupe Diversity who won the third series of Britain's Got Talent. Banjo was a judge on the Sky1 talent show Got to Dance and co-presenter of the Saturday night BBC game show Can't Touch This.
Early life and education
Son of former heavyweight boxer Funso Banjo and Danielle, Banjo was educated at the independent St John's School, Billericay, where he was head boy and still holds the high jump sports day record.
In 2007, Ashley and his younger brother Jordan formed Swift Moves with nine of their friends, before later changing their name to Diversity. He was given the nickname 'Chosen' by his fellow Diversity members. In their first year together, they won the Street Dance Weekend 2007 competition before deciding to enter Britain's Got Talent.
Britain's Got Talent
After receiving "yes" votes from all three judges in their audition, Diversity went on to compete in the first semi-final on 24 May, losing the public vote-decided first place to Susan Boyle but winning the judges' vote against Natalie Okri. In the final six days later, Diversity were announced as the winners, beating Boyle and Julian Smith (who came second and third respectively). As winners of the competition, Diversity received £100,000 (around £9,090 per member) and went on to perform before Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Variety Show on 7 December 2009.
Post Britain's Got Talent
In 2012 Diversity did their first arena tour called "Digitized – Trapped in the Game". Ashley Banjo choreographed, produced and directed the tour.
Ashley was a judge on Sky1's dancing talent show Got to Dance for all five series. Diversity appeared as guest performers at least once every series. In total they did nine performances on the show. In 2015, he presented Perspectives: Michael Jackson's Thriller with Ashley Banjo.
In 2016, Banjo co-presented Can't Touch This, a Saturday night game show for BBC One, alongside Zoë Ball. In 2017, Banjo was a judge on the new ITV series Dance Dance Dance, presented by Alesha Dixon and Will Best.
In August 2020, it was announced that due to Simon Cowell's bike injury and recovery period, Banjo would replace Cowell for the live semi-final and final shows of the 14th series of Britain's Got Talent.
|2009, 2016, 2020||Britain's Got Talent||Himself (2009, 2016), Guest Judge (2020)|
|2010–2014||Got to Dance||Himself as a judge|
|2011||The Real Hustle||Himself|
|2012–2014||Ashley Banjo's Secret Street Crew||Himself|
|The Cube||Himself, won £20,000 to split between NSPCC and Beatbullying|
|2013||Stella||Himself, episode 2.7|
|Jordan and Perri's Ultimate Block Party||Himself|
|2014||Ashley Banjo's Big Town Dance||Himself|
|Stars at Your Service||Himself|
|Release the Hounds: Jingle Hell||Himself, team won £12,000 to split between NSPCC and Beatbullying|
|You're Back in the Room||Guest|
|Perspectives Michael Jackson's Thriller with Ashley Banjo||Himself, presenter|
|2016||Can't Touch This||Himself, co-presenter|
|2017||Diversity Presents Steal the Show||Himself|
|Dance Dance Dance||Himself as a judge|
|All Round to Mrs. Brown's||Himself, guest|
|2017—||The Real Full Monty||Himself, co-presenter|
|2017||Catchphrase: Celebrity Special||Himself, contestant|
|Pride of Britain Awards||Himself, roving reporter|
|A Night for the Emergency Services||Himself, presenter|
|2018—||Dancing on Ice||Himself as a judge|
|2019—||Flirty Dancing||Himself, presenter|
Following winning Britain's Got Talent in 2009, Banjo took a break from his schooling to concentrate on his dancing. He said that "from the age of 14, I started to teach myself routines". Banjo has been in a thirteen-year relationship with Francesca Abbott, who is a member of another dance troupe called Out of the Shadows. They announced their engagement on 2 October 2014. Ashley and Francesa have two children, Rose born 2019 and Micah born 2020.
- McGarry, Lisa (24 May 2009). "Britain's Got Talent: Can Diversity Beat Flawless?". Unreality TV. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- Leach, Ben (30 May 2009). "Diversity beat Susan Boyle to win Britain's Got Talent". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- "Diversity nominated in Arts award". BBC News. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "Limitless tickets". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Limitless". Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Jordan and Perri talk about Diversity performances". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "BBC game show hosted by Zoe Ball wraps up filming in Titanic Quarter's T13: Can't Touch This set to return to Belfast". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- "Dancing on Ice confirms Ashley Banjo as judge for 2018 series". Digital Spy. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Alex, Susannah; er (23 August 2020). "Britain's Got Talent announces Ashley Banjo as Simon Cowell's replacement for semi-finals". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Release The Hounds". facebook. Retrieved 24 November 2014.[non-primary source needed]
- "Press Releases".
- Flirty Dancing Stand Up To Cancer special: Everything you need to know
- "Ashley Banjo on twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2 October 2014.[non-primary source needed]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)