Strictly host Claudia Winkleman says she’s ‘just waiting to be fired’

The popular presenter has talked about imposter syndrome and how she still gets "vomit-inducingly" nervous before each show

Claudia Winkleman, BBC Pictures, SL

Claudia Winkleman may have firmly established herself as co-host of Strictly Come Dancing, but the popular presenter says she still worries about being replaced.


Speaking to the Daily Mail, Winkleman said: “I’m just waiting to be fired. 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 instead’.”

(For his part, Rylan Clark-Neal responded to this article on Twitter with one word: “Neverrrrrrrrrrrr”)

Winkleman joined the show as Tess Daly’s co-host after Bruce Forsyth retired from presenting duties six years ago. Before that, she was the host of Strictly’s sister show It Takes Two – which is now hosted by Zoe Ball and Clark-Neal.

But Winkleman said her insecurities – and her concerns about being fired – could actually be a strength.

“I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” she told the interviewer. “Imposter syndrome is incredibly useful. We’ve both met people who are like, ‘I was born to do this, get out of my way.’ I don’t want to be that person. Feeling – don’t throw up – grateful and slightly surprised I think is a good thing. It keeps you on your toes.”

You might also think that after so many years as one of the nation’s foremost TV personalities Winkleman wouldn’t still feel nerves, but she says that she still gets very anxious before each show, and relies on co-host and friend Tess Daly for help in that regard.

“She is warm, funny, so beautiful but such a strong creature,” she said of Daly. “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. Tess is the person who looks after me and helps me.”

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly
Strictly Come Dancing hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (BBC)

Despite some fears earlier this year that Strictly Come Dancing 2020 might not be able to go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s series will begin in the near future – although we’re still waiting for confirmation on an exact date.

There will be some changes to the show’s usual format this year. The Strictly Come Dancing line-up is slightly smaller than usual with just twelve contestants, including Caroline QuentinNicola Adams and Bill Bailey.

However some things will remain the same as ever, with Winkleman and Daly once again taking on hosting duties – while it’s been claimed by It Takes Two host Rylan Clark-Neal that despite the changes the dance extravaganza will still be recognisable as the show “everyone loves.”


“There is no way Strictly would go on air if it couldn’t be the Strictly everyone loves,” he said. “It would be a million times better and easier to go, we’re not doing it this year, let’s wait, because there’s no point doing something that people love and they’ve known so well.”