Why Claudia Winkleman almost quit Strictly Come Dancing

Claudia Winkleman has revealed how she nearly quit Strictly Come Dancing


Claudia has been fronting the BBC One series alongside Tess Daly since 2014 after taking over from the late Sir Bruce Forsyth.

However Claudia has told how she almost left her job after a diary clash with the launch show.

In a chat with the Women’s Hour podcast, Claudia shared that she called up Strictly’s executive producer to say she was leaving because her son was heading to university.

Claudia explained (via The Sun): “I phoned the boss of Strictly quite dramatically and said, through tears, ‘Sarah I love you, I don’t want to leave Strictly and Tess and I have agreed we will leave together when they’re done with us, but if the first show is September 13, I’m out and you’ll have to go with somebody else.’

“And there was a beat. And she said, ‘Quite dramatic. We don’t start that week.’

“I was like ‘Alright’. I have to go and put up his posters. It’s not that I love him more than others love their kids, but this is something parents have to go through.”


Strictly’s new series will launch in the autumn on BBC One, hosted by Tess and Claudia.

Rumoured names for Strictly Come Dancing line up currently include Westlife singer Mark Feehily, Years & Years star Olly Alexander, BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker, actor Gregory Piper and BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker.

Meanwhile on spin-off It Takes Two, Janette Manrara will present after Zoe Ball stepped down.


Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas will return to the panel with Anton Du Beke joining the line up for this year. Anton is stepping in for Bruno Tonioli who is unable to take part in 2021 due to ongoing travel and quarantine restrictions due to the pandemic.

Picture: Claudia Winkleman – (C) BBC – Photographer: David Oldham