Claudia Winkleman

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Claudia Winkleman

Winkleman at the 2008 BAFTA Television Awards
BornClaudia Anne I. Winkleman
(1972-01-15) 15 January 1972 (age 40)
London, England, UK
ResidenceConnaught Square, London
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
OccupationTelevision presenter, Disc Jockey, Film critic
Years active1991-Present
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
SpouseKris Thykier
(m. 2000)
Children2 sons, and 1 daughter
ParentsBarry Winkleman, Eve Pollard
RelativesSophie Winkleman (half-sister)
Oliver Lloyd (half-brother)
Nicholas Lloyd (stepfather)
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Claudia Winkleman

Winkleman at the 2008 BAFTA Television Awards
BornClaudia Anne I. Winkleman
(1972-01-15) 15 January 1972 (age 40)
London, England, UK
ResidenceConnaught Square, London
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
OccupationTelevision presenter, Disc Jockey, Film critic
Years active1991-Present
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
SpouseKris Thykier
(m. 2000)
Children2 sons, and 1 daughter
ParentsBarry Winkleman, Eve Pollard
RelativesSophie Winkleman (half-sister)
Oliver Lloyd (half-brother)
Nicholas Lloyd (stepfather)

Claudia Anne I. Winkleman[1] (born 15 January 1972, Westminster, London)[1] is an English television presenter, film critic, radio personality and journalist.


Early life and family

Winkleman was born to a Jewish family[2] the daughter of Eve Pollard, former editor of the Sunday Express, and Barry Winkleman (born 1939),[3] former publisher of The Times Atlas of the World. Her parents divorced when she was three;[4] both remarried in 1979.[3][5] Her stepfather is Sir Nicholas Lloyd, former editor of the Daily Express, and her half-sister, from her father's second marriage, to children's author Cindy Black, is actress Sophie Winkleman, wife of Lord Frederick Windsor. She has a younger half-brother, Oliver Lloyd, from her mother's second marriage, to Nicholas Lloyd.[4]

Brought up in the London suburb of Hampstead, Winkleman was educated at the City of London School for Girls[6] and Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, obtaining an MA Hons degree in History of Art.[7]

Television career


Winkleman's first major television job was in 1991, on the regional discussion programme.Central Weekend.[8] In 1992, she began frequently to appear 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, Winkleman also appeared as a reporter on other shows, particularly This Morning interviewing celebrities, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Tony Blair, Sir Alan Sugar and Harrison Ford. 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, run by Kelvin MacKenzie and Janet Street-Porter, but soon left to pursue other projects. One programme made during this period was a short series titled Toilets shown on BBC Choice, which examined the "design, etiquette, psychology and hidden culture behind the humble loo"[citation needed]. She also presented a number of gameshows including the dating show Three's a Crowd[9], LWT show Talking Telephone Numbers, the second series of Granada TV show God's Gift and Fanorama,[10] which featured a young David Mitchell as a team captain in his first television appearance. She was also an occasional team captain on a gameshow called HeadJam, hosted by Vernon Kay.


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, for example Winkleman interviewed S Club 7 in May 2003. In 2003, Fame Academy appointed Winkleman to present a daily update show on BBC Three, in conjunction with its second series. Reporting from behind the scenes of the show, Winkleman conducted daily interviews with contestants, experts and celebrity pundits. 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, along with Tanya Byron, a British psychologist, writer and media personality. 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] in 2004, a literature-based show, and Art School[12] in 2005, a programme which saw five unlikely celebrities go through a two-week art course at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.

2007 - Present

More recently, Winkleman has presented a number of 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 also presented the Eurovision Song Contest. She co-hosted coverage of the inaugural Eurovision Dance Contest 2007 alongside Graham Norton for BBC One in September of that year. 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 Patrick Kielty when the pair hosted the final leg of Sport Relief 2008, announcing £19,640,321 as the final amount raised through viewers' donations. She has since spoken of how much she was moved by the experience.[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? (in which she appeared on David Mitchell's team, thus reprising their earlier gameshow collaboration), 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. In it she had to improvise a scene in which she played a boarding school girl who had been called to the headmistress's office.[citation needed]

As part of the celebration for London's win for hosting the 2012 Olympics, Winkleman co-hosted the London 2012 party alongside Matt Baker on 24 August, on the BBC.

Winkleman narrates the BBC Three show Glamour Girls,[13] a documentary series focusing on Britain's glamour industry.[14]

Winkleman was a panellist on Channel 4's The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2008.[15]. The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2009, and The Big Fat Quiz of the '90s (part of Channel 4's 30th anniversary celebration in 2012).

In 2009, Winkleman appeared as presenter of Let's Dance for Comic Relief, a no-rule dance contest to raise money for Comic Relief which is similar to Strictly Come Dancing, but with musical, pop and dance songs. In the same year, she presented a section of the Red Nose Day live telethon alongside Jonathan Ross.

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.[16]

On 14 November 2009, she stepped in on the main show of Strictly Come Dancing to present backstage, this was 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, Winkleman was named as one of the new co-presenters of The Film Programme, replacing Jonathan Ross.[17][18] 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.[19]

On 10 October 2010, she began hosting the Strictly Come Dancing results show on a Sunday, assisting Tess Daly, and she continued to do this during the 2011 series.

In January 2011 it was announced that she would host King Of... a new comedy chat show for Channel 4 the series started on 17th June.

From April 2011, Claudia has become the voiceover for the "Next" clothing adverts.[citation needed]

Strictly: It Takes Two

It is through her work on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two that Winkleman has gained the most public recognition. The programme, which started in 2004, 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 her 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 throughout the course of the series at 6:30pm on BBC Two.

The show's four judges sometimes appear on the programme, with the series seven line-up usually consisting of Craig Revel Horwood on Mondays and Fridays, Len Goodman on Thursdays and via telephone from LA on Mondays, plus Alesha Dixon occasionally appearing. Bruno Tonioli does not appear on the programme until the run of Dancing with the Stars, the US equivalent he and Len also judge, has concluded. Until Arlene Phillips was replaced, she typically appeared on Fridays, with Revel Horwood reporting mid-week.

One of the show's features is "Len's Masterclass," a segment in which Head Judge Len Goodman demonstrates with Winkleman a dance move or two. Her attempts to follow the steps are accompanied by much girlish giggling.

It is estimated some three million viewers on average watch each episode. The 2011 series of the programme was presented by former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Zoë Ball, as Winkleman was on maternity leave, and some different segments were introduced.


Winkleman started her journalism career as a travel writer, with 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 Wednesday column for The Independent called Take It From Me,[20] collating her various musings on the lighter sides of current affairs, celebrity news and anecdotes concerning her own life. These were mostly tongue-in-cheek diatribes on the shortcomings of men, and the pitfalls of juggling a professional life with that of being a mother. Her column often angled towards the more irritating aspects of life, with her husband regularly the subject of loving scorn. In 2007, this resulted in her husband writing her column instead, as something of a retaliation, though he did this only once.

On 9 April 2008, Winkleman wrote in The Independent about her having read this Wikipedia article when scouring the Internet looking for something to write about. In the column, she denied speculation previously included here that she was to have a third baby - she put her perceived new bulge down to the fact that she had not "...[banned] pasta from my world". She wrote of typing her name into Google and looking at this entry on Wikipedia. She was perturbed by the knowledge that there was any speculation that she was pregnant, when she wasn't, and - having rejected ideas from her friend Lucy that it was " do with the dress" or that "...they'd got her mixed up with Kate Thornton" - decided that the best course of action was to "have a slice of cake and a cup of tea".[21]

Radio work

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.[22] The show was broadcast on a Saturday afternoon on BBC Radio 2; points were awarded to those who dished out dirt.[23] The show featured many famous pundits, including Will Smith, Phil Nichol, Jo Caulfield, Rufus Hound and Jonathan Ross' brother, Paul.

She hosts a weekly show also 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.[24]

Claudia covered for Ken Bruce for two weeks during the London 2012 Olympics 30 July - 9 August 2012 on BBC Radio 2 10am-Midday

Charity and other work

In 2007, she travelled to Uganda for Comic Relief, where the harsh realities of the AIDS situation there affected her greatly. Following this, she manned the phones at the BT Tower for the Disasters Emergency Committee in response to the problems in Darfur.[25] In May 2007, she helped relaunch The National Missing Persons Campaign,[26] and also supported a Christmas campaign by the charity Refuge,[27] which aimed to stop domestic violence.[28]

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".[29]

Winkleman has also presented several Award Ceremonies including the Purple Heart Awards, The HSBC Awards, and The Campaign Digital Awards. In addition she has hosted promotional videos for companies such as John Lewis Partnership, C&J Clark and the British airport consortium BAA Limited.

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 BFI, which as part of the cultural Olympiad for London 2012, encouraged young people aged 14-25 to get involved in film making. [1]

Personal life

Winkleman married film producer Kris Thykier (born 1972),[5] in Westminster, London in 2000.[4] They live in Connaught Square, Westminster.[30] They have three children: Jake Leonard (born March 2003, Westminster), Matilda Martha (born June 2006, Westminster)[1][31] and Arthur (born 6 July 2011).[32]

On 1 September 2008, The Daily Mail reported on problems in Winkleman's marriage. The newspaper reported that Winkleman "looked drawn and stressed on the doorstep as she greeted (her father and stepmother), who took her son out for the morning. She was not wearing a wedding ring".[33] However, Winkleman said in February 2009, in an interview with Fabulous magazine regarding her marriage, "Everyone has problems, but you have one life and you have to sort things out. It's what everyone does". [4][34]


  1. ^ a b c "Marriages and Births England and Wales 1837-2006". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  2. ^ Take It From Me (25-06-2008) The Independent. Published 25 June 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b "The Peerage p 38021". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  4. ^ a b c d Claudia Winkleman gets candid Daily Mail. Published 20 September 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  5. ^ a b "The Peerage p 40445". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  6. ^ "Claudia Winkleman: I loved my school". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  7. ^ "BBC profile". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  8. ^ "BBC biography". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  9. ^ "Three's a Crowd". 2006-06-26.'s_a_Crowd. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  10. ^ "Fanorama". 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  11. ^ "End of Story". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  12. ^ "Art School". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  13. ^ "Glamour Girls". 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  14. ^ IMDb
  15. ^ "The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2008 - British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  16. ^ "Winkleman to present new Hell's Kitchen" "Digital Spy". 23 March 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
  17. ^ "Claudia Winkleman named as presenter of new-look Film 2010" (Press release). BBC. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Film 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  19. ^ MacInnes, Paul (29 March 2010). "Claudia Winkleman named as Jonathan Ross's successor on Film 2010". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  20. ^ Facebook. "Take It From Me". London: Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  21. ^ Claudia Winkleman "Take It From Me", The Independent, 9 April 2010
  22. ^ 13:30 (2008-05-10). "Hot Gossip". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  23. ^ "Hot Gossip" page, BBC Radio 2
  24. ^ 22:00 (2009-10-02). "Claudia Winkleman on BBC Radio 2". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  25. ^ DEC work, 24/05/2007
  26. ^ Charity re-launches on International Missing Children's Day Published 24 May 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  27. ^ "Refuge". Refuge. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  28. ^ We've raised our hands. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  29. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (2008-06-17). "''The Telegraph'', June 2008". London: Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  30. ^ "Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me - Blair's moving in" The Independent. Published 16 May 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  31. ^ Here trips the bride Daily Mail. Published 14 September 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  32. ^ Bull, Sarah (11 July 2011). "Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman overjoyed after giving birth to a baby boy called Arthur". Daily Mail (London). 
  33. ^ Revoir, Paul; Thomas, Liz (2008-09-01). "''The Daily Mail'', September 1st 2008". London: Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  34. ^ "Claudia's Dark Side". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Angus Deayton
Hell's Kitchen presenter
Succeeded by
Series ended
Preceded by
Eurovision Dance Contest presenter
(with Graham Norton)
2007, 2008
Succeeded by