Claudia Winkleman

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Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman (retouched) (sq cropped).jpg
Claudia Anne Irena Winkleman

(1972-01-15) 15 January 1972 (age 51)
London, England
EducationCity of London School for Girls
Alma materNew Hall, Cambridge
  • Television presenter
  • radio personality
  • film critic
  • journalist
Years active1991–present
Kris Thykier
(m. 2000)
RelativesSophie Winkleman (paternal half-sister)
Sir Nicholas Lloyd (step-father)
Sally Soames (aunt)

Claudia Anne Irena Winkleman[1] (born 15 January 1972)[2] is an English television presenter, radio personality, film critic and journalist. Between 2004 and 2010, she presented Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two on weeknights on BBC Two. Since 2010, she has co-presented Strictly Come Dancing's main results show on Sunday nights with Tess Daly on BBC One and since 2014 has been a main co-host alongside Daly on the Saturday night live shows, following the departure of Sir Bruce Forsyth. She has twice been nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Entertainment Performance for her work on Strictly Come Dancing.

Winkleman was also the presenter of the BBC's Film..., replacing Jonathan Ross after his move to ITV in 2010. She was the co-presenter of Let's Sing and Dance for its first two series with Steve Jones. From 2013 and 2016 she presented the BBC Two series The Great British Sewing Bee. In 2022, Winkleman fronted the BBC reality show The Traitors.

Her trademark appearance includes heavy eyeliner and black hair with a characteristic fringe; she has said "I don't think I'd have a career if I didn't have a fringe".[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Winkleman was born in London to a Jewish family and she has no full siblings.[4] Her parents divorced when she was three,[5] both remarrying four years later.[citation needed] Her mother, Eve Pollard, married Nicholas Lloyd, becoming Lady Lloyd in 1990. Winkleman's father later married children's author Cindy Black.[citation needed]

Winkleman's half-sister from her father's second marriage is actress Sophie Winkleman, who is married to Lord Frederick Windsor. She also has a half-brother, Oliver Lloyd, from her mother's second marriage.[citation needed] Raised in Hampstead, London, Winkleman was educated at the City of London School for Girls[6] and New Hall, Cambridge, obtaining a Master of Arts in Art History.[7]

Television career[edit]


In 1992, she began appearing frequently in the long-running BBC series Holiday, and this continued throughout the mid-1990s. This culminated in a special documentary in which she travelled around the world for 34 days reporting from Japan, India, Costa Rica and Dubai. Throughout this period, she appeared as a reporter on other shows, particularly This Morning interviewing various celebrities. During the late 1990s, Winkleman presented a number of programmes on smaller digital channels. She had a stint on the cable channel L!VE TV, but soon left to pursue other projects. In 1996, Winkleman hosted Granada programmes God's Gift (taking over from Davina McCall) and Pyjama Party (co-hosted with Katie Puckrik and Michelle Kelly).

Winkleman also presented a number of gameshows including the dating show Three's a Crowd,[8] LWT show Talking Telephone Numbers, the second series of Granada TV show God's Gift and Fanorama.[9] In 1997 she was the co-host of children's Saturday morning TV show Tricky. She was also an occasional team captain on a gameshow called HeadJam, hosted by Vernon Kay.


Winkleman's first major television job was in 2001, on the regional discussion programme Central Weekend.[10] Between 2002 and 2004, Winkleman began her first daily TV role when she hosted the BBC Three Entertainment update show Liquid News, taking over from Christopher Price on the now defunct BBC Choice. She shared the presenting duties with Colin Paterson, and later Paddy O'Connell. The show featured celebrity interviews.

In 2003, Fame Academy appointed Winkleman to present a daily update show on BBC Three, in conjunction with its second series. She repeated the show in 2005 for the much shorter celebrity version Comic Relief Does Fame Academy. Also in 2005, Winkleman co-hosted The House of Tiny Tearaways, a BBC Three reality TV show. She also began hosting Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, a supplementary programme to Strictly Come Dancing, taking over from Justin Lee-Collins.

Winkleman then presented several more reality shows including End of Story,[11] and Art School.[12]


Winkleman presented many prime time programmes. In 2007, she took over from Cat Deeley as the main host for the third series of Comic Relief Does Fame Academy, co-hosting with Patrick Kielty. She co-hosted the inaugural Eurovision Dance Contest 2007 alongside Graham Norton for BBC One in September of that year and again in 2008. She co-presented the UK selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 called Eurovision: Your Decision, this time accompanied by Eurovision stalwart Terry Wogan. In March 2008, Winkleman rekindled her partnership with Kielty when the pair hosted the final leg of Sport Relief 2008.[citation needed]

In 2007, Winkleman was the face of Sky Movie Premiere's coverage of the 79th Academy Awards, repeating it for the 80th Academy Awards in 2008. The show was broadcast live in conjunction with the ceremony itself, running right through the night into the early hours of the morning. Winkleman has made many guest appearances on panel and talk shows, including: Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Would I Lie to You?, Have I Got News for You, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and Lily Allen and Friends. In February 2008, she appeared on the British version of the comedy improvisational show Thank God You're Here, hosted by Paul Merton.[citation needed]

Winkleman narrated the 2008 BBC Three show Glamour Girls,[13] a documentary series about glamour modelling in Britain.[14]

In March 2009, Winkleman was announced as the host of the new series of Hell's Kitchen on ITV1. She fronted the nightly show live from the restaurant in East London in its fourth series in the spring.[15] On 14 November 2009, she appeared on the main show of Strictly Come Dancing to present backstage, due to main presenter Bruce Forsyth being on sick leave. She co-hosted the show with Tess Daly and guest presenter Ronnie Corbett.

On 29 March 2010, she was named as one of the new co-presenters of the Film programme, replacing Jonathan Ross.[16][17] The Guardian stated, through her recent hosting of Sky Television's coverage of The Oscars, Winkleman had "proved both a passionate and engaging advocate of cinema", while her husband Kris Thykier is a film producer with credits on several mainstream releases.[18]


On 2 April 2013, Winkleman began presenting the BBC Two sewing competition The Great British Sewing Bee, until 2016. The show went off air for 2017, but was brought back in 2018, with Joe Lycett replacing Winkleman as presenter.[19]

In 2015, she appeared on The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz.[20] In May 2015, she appeared on an episode of Watchdog on BBC One in which she discussed, during a segment on dangerous Halloween costumes, that the previous year her daughter had been badly burned when the costume she was wearing caught fire.[21] In November 2016, Winkleman presented the one-off BBC special Bublé at the BBC with Michael Bublé.

From 2018, she presented Britain's Best Home Cook and The Makeover Show[22] for BBC One.[23] In May 2018, Winkleman co-presented The Biggest Weekend on BBC Two and BBC Radio 2.

In 2023, Winkleman is to host a new Channel 4 competition show The Piano which will give amateur pianists the chance to perform at London's Royal Festival Hall.[24][25]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two was devised as a companion show to run conjoined with the second series of Strictly Come Dancing, and continues to run to date. It follows a similar format to the one Winkleman made popular on Fame Academy, and sees the presenter deliberating and dissecting the ins and outs of the main competition, accompanied by an array of dance experts, assorted guests and the competitors themselves. The show is aired every weekday at 6:30 pm on BBC Two throughout the course of the series.

Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two was originally hosted by Winkleman since its inception. In 2011, former contestant Zoe Ball took over as host from Winkleman.[26]

In 2010, Winkleman became co-host of the Sunday night results show of Strictly Come Dancing, presenting alongside Tess Daly.[27] In 2014, Winkleman's role on Strictly Come Dancing expanded to presenting the main show, following the departure of Bruce Forsyth.


Winkleman started her journalism career as a travel writer, writing columns about her various worldwide excursions. She did so in The Sunday Times and The Independent, but also contributed to the free daily London paper Metro in a similar capacity. As her television career and family evolved, she travelled less, and began to write more general work, opinion-led lifestyle journalism about womanhood, sex and relationships. She wrote for Cosmopolitan and Tatler amongst others. Between 2005 and 2008, she wrote a regular weekly column for The Independent called Take It From Me.[28]

Radio work[edit]

In April and May 2008, Winkleman hosted a six-part comedy quiz series taking a humorous look into the week's celebrity gossip, called Hot Gossip.[29] The show was broadcast on a Saturday afternoon on BBC Radio 2; points were awarded to those who dished out dirt.[30] The show featured many famous pundits, including Will Smith, Phil Nichol, Jo Caulfield, Rufus Hound and Jonathan Ross' brother, Paul.

She hosted a weekly show on BBC Radio 2 every Friday night between 10pm and midnight called Claudia Winkleman's Arts Show consisting of interviews with people from the arts world, as well as reviews and debate. In July 2010, Winkleman sat in for Dermot O'Leary.[31] She covered for Ken Bruce on several occasions from 2012 until 2014.

In April 2016, she began presenting her own Sunday night show on BBC Radio 2 called Claudia on Sunday from 7 to 9pm. In June 2017, Winkleman covered for Steve Wright in the Afternoon from 2 to 5pm.

In 2020, Claudia on Sunday was displaced from the schedules and subsequently ended due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was announced on 23 November 2020 that Winkleman had taken over the Saturday mid-morning slot on BBC Radio 2 from Graham Norton.

Charity and other work[edit]

In 2007, she answered telephones at the BT Tower for the Disasters Emergency Committee in response to problems in Darfur.[32] In May 2007, she helped relaunch The National Missing Persons Campaign,[33] and also supported a Christmas campaign by the charity Refuge,[34] which aimed to stop domestic violence.[35]

In June 2008, Winkleman was featured in Heat magazine with no make-up on, as part of a stand against the excessive airbrushing of prominent women, which she described as "pretty terrifying".[36]

On 18 March 2011, Winkleman was one of the presenters of BBC's Comic Relief. In 2012, she was one of the judges and the host of the FilmNation shorts at the British Film Institute, which as part of the Cultural Olympiad for London 2012, encouraged young people aged 14–25 to get involved in film making.[37]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2000, Winkleman married film producer Kris Thykier at Marylebone Town Hall.[38] The couple have three children.[39]

On 31 October 2014, Winkleman's then eight-year-old daughter was taken to hospital after being seriously injured when her Halloween costume caught fire.[40] Winkleman stated that the costume brushed against a candle in a pumpkin. [41] This incident prompted the government to tighten the flame retardant standards of Halloween costumes.[42]


Year Title Role Channel
1997 Tricky ITV
Talking Telephone Numbers Co-presenter with Phillip Schofield
1998 God's Gift Presenter
2002–2004 Liquid News Presenter BBC Three
2003–2005, 2007 Comic Relief Does Fame Academy Co-presenter BBC One / BBC Three
2004–2010 Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two Presenter BBC Two
2004 HeadJam Occasional team captain BBC Three
2004 Three's A Crowd Presenter BBC Two
2005–2007 The House of Tiny Tearaways Presenter BBC Three
2007–2008 Eurovision Dance Contest Co-presenter with Graham Norton BBC One
2008 Eurovision: Your Decision Co-presenter with Sir Terry Wogan
Glamour Girls Narrator BBC Three
2009–2015 Comic Relief Co-presenter BBC One
2009 Hell's Kitchen Presenter ITV
2010–2018 Sport Relief Co-presenter BBC One
2010–2016 Film... Co-presenter
2012–present Strictly Come Dancing Co-presenter with Tess Daly
2013–2016 The Great British Sewing Bee Presenter BBC Two
2016 Bublé at the BBC Presenter BBC One
2017 The Year in Music 2017 Co-presenter BBC Two
2017, 2019 QI Herself (guest, two episodes) BBC Two
2018–present Britain's Best Home Cook Presenter BBC One
2018 The Biggest Weekend Co-presenter BBC Two
2019 Icons: The Greatest Person of the 20th Century Co-presenter with Nick Robinson BBC Two
2020 One World: Together at Home Co-presenter BBC One
2022 Taskmaster's New Year Treat Contestant Channel 4
One Question[43] Presenter Channel 4
The Traitors[44] Presenter BBC One
2023 The Piano[24] Presenter Channel 4
Year Title Role Station
2008 Hot Gossip Presenter BBC Radio 2
2010 Dermot O'Leary Stand-in presenter
2008–2013 Claudia Winkleman's Arts Show Presenter
2012–2014 Ken Bruce Stand-in presenter
2016–2020 Claudia on Sunday Presenter
2017 Steve Wright in the Afternoon Stand-in presenter
2018 The Biggest Weekend Co-presenter
2021–present Saturday mid-mornings Presenter
2022 'The Voice of Reason' - Gavin Dodds Podcast Storytime Listener & Poet


  1. ^ The Cambridge University List of Members of the university (up to 31 December 1991), Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 1491
  2. ^ Johns, Victoria (16 January 2022). "Claudia Winkleman fans in shock as she reveals age on her birthday on BBC Radio 2 show". Sunday Mirror.
  3. ^ Hogan, Michael (18 September 2021). "Claudia Winkleman: 'Every September, I turn several shades of orange brighter, and off we go'". The Observer.
  4. ^ Take It From Me The Independent. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  5. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman in fight to save". Evening Standard. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  6. ^ "Claudia Winkleman". Girls' Schools Association. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ "BBC profile". BBC. Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Three's a Crowd". 26 June 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Fanorama". 20 August 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  10. ^ "BBC biography". BBC. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  11. ^ "End of Story". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Art School". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  13. ^ "Glamour Girls". BBC. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Glamour Girls (2008)". A.V Club. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Winkleman to present new Hell's Kitchen" "Digital Spy". 23 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  16. ^ "Claudia Winkleman named as presenter of new-look Film 2010" (Press release). BBC. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  17. ^ Film 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  18. ^ MacInnes, Paul (29 March 2010). "Claudia Winkleman named as Jonathan Ross's successor on Film 2010". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  19. ^ "The Great British Sewing Bee WILL be back – but Claudia Winkleman won't be presenting". RadioTimes. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  20. ^ "The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz (2015)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Claudia Winkleman relives Halloween fire that injured daughter". BBC News. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  22. ^ "BBC - BBC One announces Britain's Best Cook (w/t), with Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman".
  23. ^ "Claudia Winkleman will host new Changing Rooms-style series The Makeover Show on the BBC". June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Bake Off team whip up fresh keyboard stars in new TV contest – with a secret". the Guardian. 17 September 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  25. ^ TVZone (21 September 2022). "THE PIANO: CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN SET TO HOST NEW CHANNEL 4 COMPETITION". TVZoneUK. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  26. ^ "Zoe Ball". BBC. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  27. ^ "Claudia Winkleman". BBC. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  28. ^ "Take It From Me". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  29. ^ Staff (10 May 2008). "Hot Gossip". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  30. ^ "Hot Gossip" page, BBC Radio 2
  31. ^ Staff (2 October 2009). "Claudia Winkleman on BBC Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  32. ^ DEC work, 24 May 2007 Archived 31 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Charity re-launches on International Missing Children's Day 24 May 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2009. Archived 4 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Refuge". Refuge. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  35. ^ "We've raised our hands" Archived 22 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  36. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (17 June 2008). "Celebrity women shun make-up in stand against airbrushing". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  37. ^ Studios, Dream (4 July 2012). "Awards". Film Nation. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  38. ^ "Celebrity wedding venue popular with Sir Paul McCartney and Liam Gallagher reopens after £60m renovation". Evening Standard. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  39. ^ "Claudia Winkleman is given a baby ban by her husband" The Daily Telegraph. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  40. ^ Philipson, Alice (5 November 2014). "Friend of Claudia Winkleman's daughter tells of Halloween burns horror". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  41. ^ BBC News (14 May 2015), Claudia Winkleman: 'My daughter was on fire' - BBC News, archived from the original on 22 December 2021, retrieved 14 November 2016
  42. ^ Hughes, Laura (9 December 2015). "Rules on flammability of children's fancy dress costumes to be tightened". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  43. ^ "One Question". Channel 4 (Press release). 22 June 2022.
  44. ^ "Claudia Winkleman announced as host of BBC One's new competition show The Traitors". (Press release). 27 May 2022.

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