Ashley Banjo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ashley Banjo
Born Ashley Modurotolu Banjo
(1988-10-04) 4 October 1988 (age 29)
Leytonstone, London, England
Occupation Dancer, television presenter, actor
Years active 2007–present
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Spouse(s) Francesca Banjo
Current group Diversity
Dances Street dance

Ashley Modurotolu Banjo (born 4 October 1988), is an English street dancer, choreographer and actor. He is 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.

Personal life[edit]

Banjo was born in Leytonstone, London to a Nigerian father, Funso Banjo, a professional boxer, and an English mother, Danielle Banjo, a former Ballet dancer, who now helps with Diversity's management and also runs Danceworks Studios. Ashley grew up in Wickford, Essex with his younger brother, Jordan and his sister Talisa Banjo. He went to St Johns School in Billericay.[1] At the time of Diversity's Britain's Got Talent win, Banjo was studying physics and biology at Queen Mary, University of London, having previously attended SEEVIC College.[1] Having completed his first two years, he took a break from studying to concentrate on his dancing in the year following winning BGT. He said that "from the age of 14, I started to teach myself routines".[2] Banjo has been in a six-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.[3] They married on 4 July 2015.[4] He says that education comes first for him and he wants to be a scientist.[1]

Ashley Banjo is an Official Ambassador of the United Dance Organisation.[5]


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[edit]

In 2009, Diversity won the third series of ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent. All the judges heavily praised their performances throughout the competition, with Ashley's choreography being described by Amanda Holden as "genius". In the final referring to their winning performance, judge Simon Cowell said "If I was going to give marks on that, that is the only performance tonight I would give a 10 to."

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.[6][7]

Post Britain's Got Talent[edit]

Subsequently, Diversity were nominated in the Dance section of the final South Bank Show awards and won an award at the Pride of Britain Awards[8] He pulled a ligament in his leg during the 2nd run of diverisitoys which made him unable to perform on the last two shows of Diversity's Christmas tour.

In 2012 Diversity did their first arena tour called "Digitized – Trapped In The Game". Ashley Banjo choreographed, produced and directed the tour. Diversity sold out the O2 arena with a standing ovation.

In 2013 Ashley choreographed a third tour for Diversity called Limitless. The tour ran from 30 November to 16 December.[9][10]

Television work[edit]

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.[11] In 2015, he presented Perspectives: Michael Jackson's Thriller with Ashley Banjo.

In 2015, he filmed a new BBC game show called Can't Touch This for which Ashley co-hosts alongside Zoë Ball. The series began airing in March 2016.[12] In 2017, Banjo was a judge on the new ITV series Dance Dance Dance, presented by Alesha Dixon and Will Best. Banjo will join the judging panel for the 10th series of Dancing on Ice in 2018.[13]


Year Title Role
1996 Barrymore Himself
2009, 2016 Britain's Got Talent Himself
2010 StreetDance 3D Aaron
2010–2014 Got to Dance Himself as a judge
2011 The Real Hustle Himself
The Magicians Himself
The Apprentice Himself
Text Santa Himself
2012–2014 Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew Himself
2012 Celebrity Juice Himself
The Cube Himself, won £20,000 to split between NSPCC and Beatbullying
2013 Stella Himself, episode 2.7
Celebrity Juice Himself
Jordan and Perri's Ultimate Block Party Himself
2014 Ashley Banjo's Big Town Dance Himself
Stars at Your Service Himself
This Morning Himself
Release the Hounds: Jingle Hell Himself, team won £12,000 to split between NSPCC and Beatbullying[14]
2015 Diversity Live Himself
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
The Real Full Monty Himself, co-presenter[15]
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


  1. ^ a b c Claudia Connell (1 June 2009). "Fame? I want to be a scientist! Diversity's lead dancer insists his exams come first". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  2. ^ McGarry, Lisa (24 May 2009). "Britain's Got Talent: Can Diversity Beat Flawless?". Unreality TV. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "Ashley Banjo on twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Smith, Lizzie (31 May 2009). "Dance group Diversity in shock victory over Susan Boyle in Britain's Got Talent final". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  7. ^ Leach, Ben (30 May 2009). "Diversity beat Susan Boyle to win Britain's Got Talent". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Diversity nominated in Arts award". BBC News. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Limitless tickets". Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Limitless". Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Jordan and Perri talk about Diversity performances". Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Dancing on Ice confirms Ashley Banjo as judge for 2018 series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "Release The Hounds". facebook. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  15. ^

External links[edit]