Ayo Akinwolere

BAFTA Nominated & RTS Award-Winning Broadcaster
Ayo Akinwolere
  • Set world record for the deepest location for an open water swim
  • Supported by BBC's Get Inspired initiative and Speedo, Ayo helps adults learn to swim in East London
  • Presenter for sports events and broadcasts at both the BBC and Channel 4

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Ayo Akinwolere is an incredibly versatile BAFTA nominated and RTS award winning broadcaster.

With an array of credits to his name, Ayo has worked across several genres and shows, starting his presenting career on the iconic national institution that is Blue Peter.

It was at Blue Peter that he set a brand new world record for the deepest location for an open water swim, which saw him battle across a 5 mile stretch of water in the Pacific Ocean. This incredible feat of endurance was even more significant, as Ayo had a deep-rooted phobia of deep water, so much so that he only learnt to swim 10 weeks prior to the challenge! After completing this, he went on to devise the Swim Challenge, a national movement looking to address the dwindling number of swimmers in Britain. Within ten weeks, he took a group of non-swimmers and taught them to swim, whilst exploring the issues that stop so many from taking part. The project was supported by the BBC’s Get Inspired initiative and Speedo. The project’s legacy has seen hundreds of adults of different ethnicities and age groups learn to swim in East London; providing a more holistic and accessible way to teach the sport.

With a natural aptitude and passion for sport, Ayo has gone on to present for flagship sports events and broadcasts at the BBC, including the London mini-marathon and commentary duties on the South African World Cup for CBBC. His work within this genre has seen him interview some of the greats of sport including Pele, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton and Jessica Ennis.

A multi-faceted presenter, Ayo has also fronted a series of documentaries for the BBC including Teens from A Small Island, Stammer School, radio documentary It’s a Dog’s Life and his personal favourite, World Olympic Dreams. This took him to Jamaica to investigate why Jamaicans are so adept at sprinting and as a part of this interviewed track superstar Usain Bolt. Passionate about current affairs, Ayo is also regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Our Home Correspondent, providing topical commentary on life in contemporary Britain.

Ayo also fronts the BBC current affairs series, Inside Out, for the West Midlands presenting and investigating on the stories affecting the wider community and viewers at home. As a part of this, he was awarded the RTS Midlands Award for Best Current Affairs Feature for his hard-hitting documentary on extremism.

Credits include:

  • Inside Out (BBC One) and Inside Out Extremism Special (BBC West Midlands)
  • Football Focus (BBC One)
  • World Of Weird (Channel 4)
  • The Travel Show (BBC World)
  • Children in Need (BBC Birmingham)
  • Our Home Correspondent (BBC Radio 4)
  • Its A Dogs Life Documentary (BBC World/Radio4)
  • The Great Birmingham 10k (Channel 5)
  • British Basketball League season 2017/2018 (BBC Sport)
  • The Premier League Show (BBC Two)
  • BBC World Cup Nigeria vs Croatia (BBC One)
  • BBC 5Live Weekend Breakfast (BBC 5Live)
  • Premier League Fanzone (Premier League Productions)

With an infectious sense of fun and adventure, Ayo has also appeared on Celebrity MasterChef (BBC One), The Great Comic Relief Bake Off (BBC Two), The Great British Banquet (BBC Two) and Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge (ITV/CITV).

A popular and confident corporate host Ayo has collaborated with an array of brands and hosted multiple corporate events. Some of these include LOCOG, Huawei, The FA, Shell, TBA, British Airways, Havas Paris, Sodexo, Natixis, GLL, Royal Shakespeare Company and Harper Collins.

He works closely with several charities and is the ambassador of Street Child World Cup in Rio as well as Body and Soul, a pioneering UK charity dedicated to transforming the lives of children, teenagers and families living with, or affected by HIV. As a member of BAFTA, Ayo also presents their annual Young Film Critic Awards and has been nominated in two categories at the children's BAFTAs.

When he’s not filming, Ayo can be found travelling the globe (120 cities visited and counting!), writing and blogging for BBC Sport, The Daily Telegraph and the Huffington Post. A lover of music, with a speciality in the music of West Africa and a keen collector of records, he set up JUJU Margate, which hosts club nights and a monthly online radio show, Radio Margate.

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