Ashley Banjo

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.

Ashley Banjo
Born
Ashley Modurotolu Banjo

(1988-10-04) 4 October 1988
Leytonstone, London, England
OccupationDancer, television presenter, actor
Years active2007–present
Height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Spouse(s)Francesca Banjo
Current groupDiversity
DancesStreet dance
Websitewww.diversityofficial.com

Ashley has been a judge on the ITV show Dancing on Ice since January 2018.

Personal life

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".[1] 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.[2]

Ashley Banjo is an Official Ambassador of the United Dance Organisation.[3]

His brother, Jordan Banjo, is also a dancer in Diversity.

Diversity

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

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.[4]

Post Britain's Got Talent

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[5] 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.[6][7]

Television work

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.[8] 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.[9] In 2017, Banjo was a judge on the new ITV series Dance Dance Dance, presented by Alesha Dixon and Will Best.

Since January 2018, Banjo has been part of the judging panel on Dancing on Ice, starting with its tenth series in 2018.[10]

Filmography

Year Title Role
1996BarrymoreHimself
2009, 2016Britain's Got TalentHimself
2010StreetDance 3DAaron
2010–2014Got to DanceHimself as a judge
2011The Real HustleHimself
The MagiciansHimself
The ApprenticeHimself
Text SantaHimself
2012–2014Ashley Banjo's Secret Street CrewHimself
2012Celebrity JuiceHimself
The CubeHimself, won £20,000 to split between NSPCC and Beatbullying
2013StellaHimself, episode 2.7
Celebrity JuiceHimself
Jordan and Perri's Ultimate Block PartyHimself
2014Ashley Banjo's Big Town DanceHimself
Stars at Your ServiceHimself
This MorningHimself
Release the Hounds: Jingle HellHimself, team won £12,000 to split between NSPCC and Beatbullying[11]
2015Diversity LiveHimself
You're Back in the RoomGuest
Perspectives Michael Jackson's Thriller with Ashley BanjoHimself, presenter
2016Can't Touch ThisHimself, co-presenter
2017Diversity Presents Steal the ShowHimself
Dance Dance DanceHimself as a judge
All Round to Mrs. Brown'sHimself, guest
2017—The Real Full MontyHimself, co-presenter[12]
2017Catchphrase: Celebrity SpecialHimself, contestant
Pride of Britain AwardsHimself, roving reporter
A Night for the Emergency ServicesHimself, presenter
2018—Dancing on IceHimself as a judge

References

  1. 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.
  2. "Ashley Banjo on twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. 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.
  5. "Diversity nominated in Arts award". BBC News. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  6. "Limitless tickets". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  7. "Limitless". Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  8. "Jordan and Perri talk about Diversity performances". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  9. "BBC game show hosted by Zoe Ball wraps up filming in Titanic Quarter's T13: Can't Touch This set to return to Belfast". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  10. "Dancing on Ice confirms Ashley Banjo as judge for 2018 series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  11. "Release The Hounds". facebook. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  12. http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/itv-do-full-monty-new-show
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