Claudia Winkleman threatened to quit 'Strictly Come Dancing' to be with her son on his first day at university.

Claudia Winkleman

Claudia Winkleman

The 49-year-old presenter - who has kids Jake, 18, Matilda, 15, and Arthur, 10, with husband Kris Thykier - was worried the BBC Latin and ballroom show would return on the day her eldest is set to leave for uni, and she told the show's bosses to find her replacement if that was the case.

She told the 'Women’s Hour' podcast: “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.’ "

Luckily, 'Strictly' is not set to start the week Claudia's son is due to leave home.

She said: “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.”

Claudia has been co-hosting the show with Tess Daly since 2004, but recently admitted she still suffers from pre-show jitters because she worries she will let the “magical” ‘Strictly’ team down.

She said: "If you ever see Tess doing the show wearing something with a big sleeve, it is because I have hurt her arm where I have squeezed it because I am so nervous.

“I can’t do that right now, but I do get really scared. Not because I think I am doing anything important – I am not in scrubs holding a scalpel – it is just because I don’t want to let this magical team, which is what they are, down.

“In live TV, we are tiny cogs and if you go off-piste and talk too long then you mess it up for everybody.”


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