Claudia Winkleman Had The Perfect Response After Son Told Her To Quit 'Embarrassing' Strictly Role

Fair play.
Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Claudia Winkleman wasn’t taking any of her son’s criticism when he asked her to quit Strictly Come Dancing.

The presenter fronts the BBC ballroom show, which returns to screens later this month, with Tess Daly, but her eldest son Jake hasn’t always been its biggest fan.

In a new interview with The Mirror, Claudia recalled the perfect response she had when he told her he found the show “embarrassing”.

She admitted: “He said to me, ‘Mum, you have got to stop doing Strictly, it’s so embarrassing and my teacher has mentioned it’.

“I just went ‘See those trainers, Jake?’ He was like ‘OK, sorry’.”

Playing down the role she plays on the show, Claudia added: “My only job is to make sure [the celebs] are OK and to stop speaking on time. I know I’m not allowed to say I just paint myself orange and I read out loud but really that is what I do most of the time. So, that’s the gig but it’s really, really thrilling.”

Claudia – who is mum to 20-year-old Jake, 17-year-old Matilda and Arthur, 12 – previously told Strictly bosses she was quitting when she thought filming clashed with Jake’s first day at uni.

She recalled there being “plenty of tears” when she phoned Strictly’s executive producer to inform them of her decision.

Claudia with Strictly co-host Tess Daly
Claudia with Strictly co-host Tess Daly
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Appearing on BBC Woman’s Hour in 2021, Claudia said: ”’I phoned the boss of Strictly quite dramatically and said, through tears, ’Sarah I love you. I don’t want to leave Strictly and Tess and I have agreed we will leave together when they’re done with us, but if the first show is September 13, I’m out and you’ll have to go with somebody else.

“And there was a beat. And she said, ‘Quite dramatic. We don’t start that week.’

“I was like, ‘alright’. I have to go and put up his posters. It’s not that I love him more than others love their kids, but this is something parents have to go through.”

Claudia began hosting the Strictly results show in 2010 when the late Bruce Forsyth reduced his workload and stepped up to be his full-time replacement alongside Tess in 2014.

In a 2020 interview with You magazine, The Traitors host revealed she still suffers with imposter syndrome on the show.

“I’m just waiting to be fired,” Claudia said. “I’m waiting for somebody to tap me on the shoulder and go, ‘Oh, sorry, we’ve got this all wrong, you are not allowed to go in again, we’ve got Rylan instead’, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

“Imposter syndrome is incredibly useful.”


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