Ayo Akinwolere

Represented By

Alex Segal

Ayo Akinwolere is an award winning Factual and Sports Broadcaster, Change Maker and World Record Swimmer. He’s also Co-Director of MilkFirst Productions.

With a 14 year career in television, Nigerian-born Akinwolere started his broadcasting journey as a presenter on Blue Peter the BBC’s flagship children’s programme. Within his first year he was nominated for the Children’s BAFTA Factual Programme of the year, for his journey back to his country of birth Nigeria. Five years on, the programme brought him another two Children’s Bafta nominations for both Presenter of the Year and Programme Of The Year. He was also recently named UK Ambassador for the homeless charity Crisis.

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Ayo Akinwolere is an award winning Factual and Sports Broadcaster, Change Maker and World Record Swimmer. He’s also Co-Director of MilkFirst Productions.

With a 14 year career in television, Nigerian-born Akinwolere started his broadcasting journey as a presenter on Blue Peter the BBC’s flagship children’s programme. Within his first year he was nominated for the Children’s BAFTA Factual Programme of the year, for his journey back to his country of birth Nigeria. Five years on, the programme brought him another two Children’s Bafta nominations for both Presenter of the Year and Programme Of The Year. He was also recently named UK Ambassador for the homeless charity Crisis.

He made the leap from children’s to current affairs in 2014 as the presenter of Inside Out (BBC Current Affairs) in the West Midlands. In his first year on the show he won the Factual RTS (Royal Television Society) Award for his documentary on Extremism and a BBC Ruby Award for Programme of the year. He’s a regular contributor to Our Home Correspondent (BBC Radio 4), focusing on stories based on identity and ethnicity.

Ayo can also been seen presenting Channel 4’s Rugby coverage and has been lead anchor to Ireland’s rugby test matches live from the Aviva Arena in Dublin. He was also co-host of the live Saturday morning rugby magazine show The Big Tackle and has on the Premier League Show and Football Focus (BBC Sport). With football and sport being one of Ayo’s passions, he currently hosts the weekly Football magazine show Premier League Today (Premier League Productions), Autumn Nations 2020 and Summer Internationals 2021 Rugby (Channel 4/Amazon Prime) and Golazo (CBS USA). This winter, he’ll take up position as the Daily Coverage Host for the Winter Olympics 2022 (BBC One) and will be hosting a new podcast Why I Run, with Redbull and the Wings For Life Foundation.

UK Audiences will also have seen him on favourites such as Weakest Link, Celebrity Total Wipeout, Celebrity Master Chef, The Great British Bake Off and Celebrity Pointless.

A sportsman himself, Ayo set two world records 2012 for swimming in one of the deepest stretches of water on earth. In 2015 Ayo created THE SWIM CHALLENGE, a project looking to prove that people of colour can swim. One of four people of colour with a swimming world record, Ayo took 15 non-swimming adults of various ethnic backgrounds from across London and redesigned a swimming programme to teach them how to swim. In 10 weeks the participants went through a gruelling swimming programme helped by the Swim Dem Crew, to try and challenge their fears of the water and furthermore learn to swim. All the participants learned to swim, and even more remarkable eight participants from the group went on the swim in open water with Ayo in the Great Manchester Swim and Great London Swim. The project gained momentum in various publications and was sponsored by Speedo, Ayo was later commissioned by BBC Get Inspired to document the project.

Ayo has also given key note speeches to the Swim Teacher Association on the importance of diversity in swimming and swim teaching as a way to combat increasing number of people who can’t swim. In 2017 Akinwolere co-created AT SEA, a short film documenting a journey to the sea in Margate through poetry and visuals, the short was also nominated for the Kendal Mountaineering Festival.

Following the BLM protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, Ayo become a third cog in a Cultural Intelligence Consultancy called Cultural Agility Sessions. Created by digital disruption coach and Silicon Valley leader Rosie Allimonos, Ayo and Producer Faraz Ozman use their lived experiences as leaders in their various fields to work with major institutions, to re-work current imbedded old fashioned practices that might be racially and culturally discriminative. Through Cultural intelligence the group work with leaders to creative positive, open minded and forward thinking working environments that allow all employees regardless of ethnicity, religious beliefs and gender to exist authentically and drive productivity. The group have recently signed up to the Simon Sinek platform to give talks and webinars to some of the most powerful institution and their leaders on the subject of Cultural Intelligence.

Ayo recently won the British Photography Award for fine Art for his piece ‘Great Britain’ as a reaction to the ever changing landscape on ethnicity globally the project went on to be nominated and won awards globally.

As a writer and activist he’s written for the likes of the Daily Telegraph, BBC Sport, National Geographic Kids Magazine, Huffington Post and True Africa, BBC Radio 4. He’s also toured universities across Britain with his lecture ‘Finding Your Voice’, inspiring students to be broadcasters to find their voices as performers or as potential employees in the television industry.

In 2020 Ayo co-created MilkFirst Productions, focusing on factual programming by telling authentic stories from across Great Britain and beyond, with a huge focus on diversity on and off screen. The Production company won a place on Channel 4’s ‘Indie Accelerator Scheme’ and are producing a documentary for the national broadcaster due to broadcast in October.

Broadcast presenting credits in Britain and USA credits include: Running Man (BBC Two); Fort Boyard Ultimate Challenge (ITV); Blue Peter (BBC One/CBBC); Teensville (BBC Three); World of Weird (Channel 4); The Travel Show (BBC News/BBC Two); Great Birmingham 10k (Channel 5); Football Focus (BBC One); Match of the Day (BBC One); British Basketball League and Cup Finals (BBC iPlayer/Red Button); Inside Out West Midlands (BBC One); The Premier League Show (BBC Two); Premier League Fanzone (IMG Productions); The Big Tackle (Channel 4); Channel 4 Ireland Rugby Internationals (Channel 4); Premier League Today (IMG); Premier League Today (Premier League Productions); Autumn Nations Cup (Amazon Prime Video); Summer International Tests (Channel 4 Rugby); Morning Live (BBC One); Weekend Warm Up Premier League (IMG); Golazo (CBS USA); Winter Olympics 2022 (BBC One).

Radio and audio credits include: From Our Home Correspondent (BBC Radio 4); It’s a Dog’s Life (BBC World Service); Rugby, Fed Cup 2018 (BBC Radio 5 Live); Roland Garos Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live); ATP Tour Finals (BBC Radio 5 Live); Why I Run Podcast Series (Redbull x Wings For Life Foundation).