AJ Odudu and Vernon Kay to host new reality TV show on ITV1

AJ Odudu in a make up chair

AJ Odudu and Vernon Kay are to host a new ITV series search for the next top designer in a partnership with M&S.


Provisionally titled M&S: Dress The Nation, the show will see 10 candidates compete to secure a highly coveted in-house design role working alongside some of the best designers in the industry at M&S’ colleague support centre in Paddington, London.

The retailer is calling for individuals from diverse backgrounds, highlighting that formal education in fashion design isn’t a necessity. Instead, a natural talent for creativity, eagerness to learn, and a passion for design are what truly matter.

Throughout the selection process, 10 participants will be challenged with various tasks aimed at evaluating their abilities in design, problem-solving, understanding of the market, and teamwork.

These tasks are designed to mirror the design and product development journey at M&S, covering everything from research and trend spotting to the creation of unique products.

Contestants will spend their time in a specially constructed design studio, tackling tasks both individually and in teams, to craft garments that appeal to the M&S shopper—a customer in search of style, versatility, affordability, and quality.

Weekly, a panel of judges, consisting of M&S’s top executives, along with a changing lineup of celebrity guests and designers, will decide which contestants advance to the next stage, edging closer to victory.

The ultimate winner will secure a position as a junior designer at M&S, tailored to their specific skills and experiences.

AJ Odudu said: “I’m so excited to be hosting M&S: Dress The Nation on ITV alongside my mate Vernon. To host a primetime show that celebrates all things fashion is incredible and I can’t wait to help ITV and M&S unearth some brilliant new design talent. Accessibility to the creative industries for people across the U.K. is so important to me and shows like this provide an opportunity that really could change someone’s life forever.”


Vernon Kay added: “I’m a strong believer in giving talent the opportunity to be seen and get a chance to make it. This is a great way for budding designers, especially those who don’t necessarily have any formal training or experience, to win a life-changing job at one of Britain’s most loved retailers. This is gonna be huge for all those who take part. And I’m so looking forward to working alongside AJ again.”

The show will air on ITV1 and ITVX from early Autumn.

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