BBC Strictly’s Claudia Winkleman eyes up unlikely move for ‘when she’s fired from TV’

Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman has expressed her hopes of moving into the bridge circuit with her husband Kris Thykier when her time in the showbiz world comes to an end. The presenter currently has a packed schedule fronting shows such as Strictly, The Piano, and the upcoming new series of The Traitors, but admits having imposter syndrome makes her regularly question her career.

When asked on the games she plays at Christmas time, the 51-year-old said she hopes to take one of her gaming talents further when the time is right. She spilled: “We play bridge. My husband and I are obsessed and when I get fired from TV, I hope we can go on the bridge circuit. I’m being perfectly serious.”

Speaking to Radio Times Magazine, Claudia went on to say that her family “aren’t allowed” to watch anything she does. “This year we filmed Traitors when the little ones weren’t at school, so they came to visit me. ‘Why are we in a castle, Mum?’. They’ve never seen it. Much better’.”

The presenter’s latest interview comes following the news she will be stepping down from her BBC Radio 2 duties next year. She said in a statement: “I absolutely love Radio 2 and it’s been a privilege to host the Saturday morning show for three years.

“I will miss our amazing guests, our brilliant listeners and the one and only Sally Traffic. The truth is my children are growing up inordinately fast so I have decided to follow them around at home before they leave for good.

“I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who works on the show, I will continue to visit with badly made biscuits and will pester the bosses to present the odd special.” Claudia’s 10am-1pm slot on Saturdays will be taken over by comedian Romesh Ranganathan from March 2024.

She added of her replacement: “He is brilliantly laugh out loud funny, and I’ll listen every single week as my kids beg me to leave them alone.” Claudia is a mum to three children with her film producer husband of 23 years.

The presenter juggles motherhood with her career which hit new heights in 2004 when she joined the Strictly team. Claudia initially began as the host of Strictly: It Takes Two before she was promoted to the main show following Bruce Forsyth’s retirement.

But despite her many years on camera, the presenter previously admitted she had imposter syndrome and that she wouldn’t be shocked if her job ended suddenly. “I’m just waiting to be fired,” she told You Magazine in 2020.

“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 [Clarke] instead’.”

Claudia has thanked her co-star Tess Daly for boosting her confidence on the show over the years. “I get really, properly vomit-inducing nervous before each show – it’s the responsibility, the idea that I could mess it up that scares me,” she continued. “Tess is the person who looks after me and helps me.”

The presenter has also admitted the pair have “a pact” together, in which if one of them decided to leave the show, the other would too.

“We’ve made that pact over pizza. We’ll go together, whenever they’re done with us,” she shared on the Just Me? podcast. “Even if they phoned me now and said, ‘You’re done’, I’d still think I have had the best career possible.”

Read the full interview in Radio Times Magazine out now.

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