As Claudia Winkleman siezes the reins from Bruce “didn’t they do well?” Forsyth, the nation is getting excited for a new look presenting line-up on Strictly Come Dancing this weekend. Her pairing with Tess Daly is also historic – it’s the first time a presenting double-act on a primetime show has been all female.
But while Claudia has been a welcome presence on our screens since the 1990s, there are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about her. Here are just a few.
1. She comes from a long line of media types
Her dad, Barry Winkleman, was a publisher, while her mother was Eve Pollard – an author, journalist and editor of a number of tabloid newspapers.
After her divorce from Barry in 1975, Eve remarried to another newspaper editor Nicholas Lloyd – Claudia’s new stepdad.
2. Her sister married into royalty
Sophie Winkleman – perhaps most famously know as Big Suze on Channel 4's Peep Show – married Lord Frederick Windsor in 2009. Her hubby is 41st in line to the throne, thanks to his dad being Queen Elizabeth’s cousin.
Sophie is actually Claudia’s younger half-sister, having the same dad.
3. She wanted to be an art historian
Claudia has a degree in history of art at Cambridge University, and wanted to pursue that as a career. But the plan didn’t quite work out. As she told Stylist Magazine: “My head almost fell off because there was a lot of sitting and waiting.”
4. Her TV career began under the pseudonym 'Claudia Winklebottom.'
Okay, so it’s not a particularly inventive pseudonym. And it never caught on. But here’s a video of here talking to a cartoon dragon on Saturday Morning TV show Tricky.
5. She has a very impressive reality television CV
As well as Strictly and its spin-off show It Takes Two, Winkleman has presented on: Fame Academy, Art School, The House of Tiny Tearaways, Eurovision: Your Decision, Holiday and Hell’s Kitchen.
6. She’s entirely ready to admit her celebrity crushes
We’re used to seeing Claudia acting overcome around the hunky Strictly dancers, but her list of celebrity crushes seems almost endeless. Candid admissions in interviews include Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, chef Marco Pierre White, and actor Dustin Hoffman.
She also admitted in an interview that she once saw Christopher Biggins in a supermarket and thought “I wonder if I can I get him to sign my left boob…?’’
7. She has a very controversial fringe
It’s been voted the worst fringe on telly, and BBC bosses allegedly called it ridiculous. Now her infamous fringe has been clipped for the Strictly premiere on Sunday– according to Claudia, out of respect for the viewers.
However, the fringe has its fans. It even had a short-lived Twitter account.
NOOOOOOOOO!!! Not the flaming sambucas again?! Please, can't you just have a pina colada?— Winkles Fringe (@WinklesFringe) February 2, 2013
8. Her worst ever interviewee? Harrison Ford
Some rather harsh words were exchanged, but afterwards Claudia said that her expectations had just been too high. They ended up bonding over his love of carpentry.
(Pictures Ray Burmiston, Carl Court/PA, John Stillwell/PA, Elvert Barnes/Flickr, Peter Jordan/PA, BBC, Ian West/PA, Jon Furniss/Invision, Arthur Mola/Invision)