Strictly’s Claudia to return after daughter’s firework scare - but says she’s ‘out of practice’

Claudia Winkelman
Claudia Winkelman
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Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman asked the audience to “bear with me” as she prepares to return to the hit ballroom show this weekend.

She has been absent in recent weeks to be with her eight-year-old daughter, Matilda, who was in hospital after her Halloween costume went up in flames while she was out trick-or-treating.

Writing online, she said: “Hello Twitter. Firstly, a huge thank you to the incredible NHS doctors and nurses who are being extraordinary.

“We are bowled over by their kindness and brilliance.

“Matilda is doing well and although it will be a long road to recovery, she is getting the best possible care. Thank you so much for your lovely messages - they meant everything.

“I’m coming back to Strictly this weekend but am out of practice so please bear with me.”

The mother-of-three was replaced on the main BBC One show by Zoe Ball after the accident.

The Great British Sewing Bee and Film 2014 presenter Winkleman and her husband, former PR executive Kris Thykier, whose film production credits include Paul Potts movie One Chance, married in 2000, and have three young children - Jake and Arthur, as well as Matilda.

She landed the role of Strictly co-host, joining Tess Daly, in the autumn after Sir Bruce Forsyth decided to step down from the programme after a decade.

The presenter, the daughter of former newspaper editor Eve Pollard, had previously fronted the weekly results show and stepped in during Sir Bruce’s occasional absences.

After her daughter’s accident, she and her husband urged people to take care while celebrating Bonfire Night.

The London Fire Brigade said there were 82 fire-related injuries between Halloween and Bonfire Night in the capital, up from the previous year’s total.