19/12/2014 05:59 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Tess Daly Says Claudia Winkleman's Daughter Matilda Is 'Improving Hugely' After Halloween Fire Accident


Strictly Come Dancing's Tess Daly has revealed that co-host Claudia Winkleman's daughter Matilda is 'on the road to recovery' after she was badly burned on Halloween.

Tess, 45, told the Mirror that the eight-year-old is 'improving hugely' and has even had a play date with Tess's own children, Amber, 10, and five-year-old Phoebe.

As the presenters prepare for this Saturday's Strictly final, Tess opened up about her friendship with Claudia, who had to be temporarily replaced by Zoe Ball after Matilda's accident.

Tess said: "My heart went out to her as a mother and a friend.

"It was difficult and I just wanted to know she was OK and Matilda was OK. But we had to do what we had to do under those circumstances and Zoe came in and she was brilliant.

"Again she is part of the family and a joy to work with, a total pro. There was no one more qualified to stand in."

And just in time for Christmas, things are looking promising for Matilda as the burns begin to heal.

Tess said: "Matilda is improving now hugely. Our kids had a play day together last week and she is doing so so well. They were running and playing hide and seek.

"She is doing really well now which is great. It is every parent's nightmare that your child is involved in an accident, but she is definitely on the road to recovery now and Claudia is feeling really happy and relieved."

Tess revealed she's been so busy she hasn't finished Christmas shopping for her daughters.

And even on December 25 she won't put her feet up, though husband Vernon lends a hand.

She told the paper: "Vernon does the turkey, he gets quite territorial, he sources it, buys it from a local farm and cooks it. I do everything else.

"So I do the vegetables and the roast potatoes. I make a mean roast spud thanks to Jamie Oliver's tip of bashing them in a colander to make them super crispy.

"We are northern so there is lots of gravy. You have to make Yorkshire puddings too.

"It is always fun this last week juggling Christmas present shopping, Christmas food shopping and the final and children who are off school for the holidays.

• The Strictly Come Dancing Final is on BBC1 on Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.50pm.

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