11 Forgotten TV Shows Claudia Winkleman Presented Long Before Wowing Us In The Traitors

She's best known for The Traitors and Strictly Come Dancing, but Claudia has hosted some weird and wonderful shows in the past.
Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman

We know her best for presenting Strictly Come Dancing, her weekend Radio 2 show and, of course, her acclaimed work on the UK version of The Traitors.

But there’s a lot more to Claudia Winkleman’s CV than just the glamour of the ballroom and the tension of the Highlands castle.

Before joining Tess Daly as a Strictly co-host, Claudia had already racked up two decades’ worth of presenting work, which included gameshows, reality TV, interviews and more.

Here’s just a selection of some of the shows you probably forgot that everyone’s favourite be-fringed TV personality (and eyeliner devotee) used to front…

This Morning

Claudia’s career in broadcasting began in the early 1990s, when she began presenting segments on the long-running BBC travel show Holiday.

What you might not know is that around this time, she was a fairly regular contributor to This Morning, where she served as a roving reporter and interviewed celebrities.

Regrettably, there’s no evidence of this on YouTube anywhere, apart from this clip of her being sawed in half as part of a magic act. As you do.



Alright, who remembers L!VE TV? Launched in 1995, with Janet Street-Porter and Kelvin Mackenzie in charge, the infamous station lasted four years, during which time it became notable for its outrageous and often-distasteful programming.

Among its staple shows were Tiffany’s Big Tips, a show in which model Tiffany Banister gave the day’s financial news while slowly stripping to her underwear, and its current affairs show, which was accompanied by the so-called “News Bunny”, someone in a rabbit suit who would react to each headline in the background.

Claudia was briefly part of L!VE TV’s on-air team, as was Matt Arnold, Richard Bacon and Charlie Stayt. Again, it’s tough to track any footage of this down which, let’s face it, is probably a good thing for our Claud.

God’s Gift


In 1997, Claudia took over hosting duties on the short-lived ITV dating show God’s Gift, originally helmed by a pre-Big Brother Davina McCall.

The premise of God’s Gift was simple enough, with four prospective men being whittled down to just one through a series of tasks intended to put their “sex appeal” to the test.

Whoever won would then be able to choose a member of the show’s all-female studio audience to take out on a date, which was then filmed for the following week’s episode.

One competitor who went on to front a dating show of his own decades later was Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness.

Pyjama Party


Another of Claudia’s oft-forgotten early shows was Pyjama Party, fronted by Katie Puckrick with Michelle Kelly and the future Strictly host as her “gal pal” co-presenters.

The premise of the show was based around a slumber party, complete with “midnight snacks” and cocktails, with guests and audience members only allowed in the studio if they were in sleepwear.

Among the extremely 90s guests who agreed to be interviewed on the show were Patsy Kensit, Lisa Riley, Sparks, Anna Friel, Peter Andre and, believe it or not, Tori Amos.

Talking Telephone Numbers


For many of us, the first time they’ll have seen Claudia Winkleman would have been on Talking Telephone Numbers, where she replaced Emma Forbes as Phillip Schofield’s co-host for its final season in 1997.

The premise of the show was that over the course of each episode, five numbers would be revealed through a series of tasks. If a viewer’s phone number ended in those digits, they were invited to call in, where they’d be in with a chance of winning a £10K cash prize.

Liquid News

At the start of the noughties, Claudia joined the presenting team on BBC Three’s entertainment news show Liquid News, which featured celebrity interviews and showbiz news segments.

If that sounds at all familiar, that might be because this is where Claudia filmed her infamous interview with S Club 7, which ended in disaster when she asked the pop group about how much money they (and their manager Simon Fuller) were making.

Three’s A Crowd


Almost a decade after God’s Gift, Claudia returned to the world of dating shows in 2004, when she began hosting the BBC series Three’s A Crowd.

You may have gleaned from the title that the show saw one romantic hopeful having to choose between two prospective partners, with both of them coming along for a date at the same time, with much awkwardness ensuing.

The House Of Tiny Tearaways


Airing for four seasons on BBC Three, The House Of Tiny Tearaways is perhaps the most mid-2000s British TV format we’ve ever heard of.

Hosted by Claudia, the show saw a string of families experiencing trouble at home put into a purpose-built home for six days to work on their issues with a panel of experts, including Tanya Byron.

In 2021, Claudia and Tanya reunited for a parenting podcast, with the pair sharing that they’d also helped one another through difficult times during an interview on This Morning.

Eurovision Dance Contest


A big break for Claudia came in 2007 when she was chosen to co-present the Eurovision Song Contest’s first ever dance-centric spin-off with Graham Norton.

Like the Eurovision we know and love, each country was represented by a pair of professional ballroom dancers who would each perform a freestyle routine.

For its second (and final) year, each couple would have to be made up of one professional dancer and a celebrity partner, with Strictly Come Dancing finalist Louisa Lytton representing the UK in 2008 alongside Vincent Symone, after which the competition was axed.

Hell’s Kitchen


Hell’s Kitchen had already gone through a few different incarnations by the time Claudia took over at the helm in 2009, for what would be its final outing on ITV.

Celebrity hopefuls on the series included Anthea Turner, Ade Edmondson and Dynasty legend Linda Evans, who went on to win the show.

The Great British Sewing Bee


Joe Lycett really put his stamp on the Great British Sewing Bee during his tenure as host, but what people might not realise is that it was originally fronted by Claudia.

She hosted the first four seasons between 2013 and 2016, but did not return with the show when it came back in 2019.

In 2022, Sara Pascoe took over from Joe, having previously impressed on the Sewing Bee’s celebrity special a year earlier.


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