'Fakery can be seen from miles off': Claudia Winkleman insists friendship with co-host Tess is REAL and they eat McDonalds on the dressing room floor after every show

  • Claudia Winkleman, 43, says she and Tess Daly get on 'brilliantly'
  • She reveals how they eat fast food and inhale Maltesers after filming 
  • Claims fans don't recognise her without her 'orange makeup'
  • Strictly presenter was once mistaken for Davina by autograph hunter

Claudia Winkleman has revealed how she gets on 'brilliantly' with Strictly co-host Tess Daly, with the pair eating McDonald's on the dressing room floor together after filming wraps.

The 43-year-old presenter believes that the audience of the BBC One show would spot it a mile off if the friendship was fake.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Claudia insisted that the glamour was only for the camera as she gears up for season 13 of Strictly Come Dancing - which kicks off this Saturday.

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Claudia Winkleman says she 'can't wait' for season 13 of Strictly Come Dancing to kick off this Saturday

Claudia Winkleman says she 'can't wait' for season 13 of Strictly Come Dancing to kick off this Saturday

The 43-year-old presenter has revealed how she gets on 'brilliantly' with Strictly co-host Tess Daly, pictured together on the show

The 43-year-old presenter has revealed how she gets on 'brilliantly' with Strictly co-host Tess Daly, pictured together on the show

She said: 'It's all very fabulous for everyone else, but as soon as the show is over, Tess and I sit on the floor inhaling Maltesers and eating McDonald's. 

'A Filet-O-Fish for Tess, and a Quarter Pounder for me. No pickles, that is very important. I learnt the hard way.'

The TV host also says she is ready and 'can't wait' for the show, although she admits it completely takes over her life while it's on.

She said: 'I smell of fake tan all the time, I wake up midweek and I've still got sequins in my hair.' 

The art history graduate fell into television by mistake when a friend from production company Planet 24 called to say they were testing for Live TV.

Eight months later, she was on air. Claudia explained how she was 'pretty useless' at first, replying to the director by staring down the barrel when he spoke to her through her earpiece. 

She describes her off duty look as 'goth mum'
Claudia, pictured with Tess Daly on the red carpet, insists no one ever recognises her on the tube without her makeup

Claudia describes her off duty look as 'goth mum' and insists no one ever recognises her on the tube without her makeup

And on Strictly she's convinced it's a fluke if she gets through a show without offending someone or falling over. 

'If I manage that, I'm happy,' she said. 

Claudia claims her intention was to keep a low profile and never to go 'primetime'. However the star is now a household name having become one half of the first female duo on live Saturday night TV.

Speaking about her relationship with her co-host, she said: 'Tess and I get on brilliantly. I've always thought viewers know what's real and what isn't. Fakery and nonsense can be seen from miles off.'

But she insists it isn't just the chemistry between her and Tess that makes the show so popular. 

Her daughter Matilda, nine (pictured with Claudia's husband Kris Thykier, suffered sever burns last year when he Halloween outfit caught fire

Her daughter Matilda, nine (pictured with Claudia's husband Kris Thykier, suffered sever burns last year when he Halloween outfit caught fire

'When we wrap, all the producers come in. They're all women, apart from one guy called Mark who is very nice (hello Mark), and we all just sit around and burger up. The glamour is saved for when the cameras roll, and that's nothing to do with me.'

The star also maintains there are no diva tantrums backstage from the dancers, judges or contestants.

She said: 'If there is, I don't see it. Everyone is so wonderful. There's no "I need a goat in my dressing room" type behaviour.'

Claudia grew up in a media environment: her mother is the successful author and tabloid newspaper editor Eve Pollard.

'My mother is an extraordinary woman,' Claudia said. 'Strong, clever, funny, but very cosy. She believed in good manners, sleeping and eating well. 

'She was a huge influence on me, in work but also as a parent. It's all, "Be polite, sleep and eat broccoli." I think my kids know there is a line and that's down to how I was raised. 

'I'm their parent, not their friend. Although in all honesty that's bulls***, I'm desperate to be their friend.'

She says that away from the cameras life is fairly normal for her family - husband Kris Thykier and their three children, Jake, 12, Matilda, nine, and Arthur, four.

She said: 'I have the most amazing woman, Amy, an unbelievable creature, who looks after me and my kids when things get very busy. 

'But I do have one rule. During the week I have to be able to pick up my kids from school and put them to bed. 

'The rest of the time I can work. I'm very lucky that because Strictly happens at the weekends, I get to do that.'

Her daughter Matilda made headlines last year when her Halloween costume was engulfed in flames after brushing past a candle.

In previous interviews Claudia has said the experience was not life-defining for her daughter, but life-changing for her as a mother. 

Claudia, pictured with Tess on the Saturday night show, says the pair 'inhale' Maltesers and eat McDonald's burgers on the dressing room when filming wraps

Claudia, pictured with Tess on the Saturday night show, says the pair 'inhale' Maltesers and eat McDonald's burgers on the dressing room when filming wraps

Since the accident she has campaigned to have the testing standards of children's costumes amended and appeared on BBC's Watchdog to raise awareness of the dangers.

In the interview in today's Radio Times, Claudia was also quick to recognise the number of powerful women working at the BBC and in TV as a whole.

'There are many industries where a woman can’t even get into the room of decision-making,' she said. 'I’m pleased that I work with such a powerful group of great women.'

However when asked if she feels powerful herself, she replied: 'I wear orange makeup and read out loud. I love my job, but I don't feel powerful.'

However her 'orange makeup', as she calls it, comes with some unexpected advantages it seems. Claudia insists that nobody ever pays attention to her outside work without it. 

In real life she describes her style as more 'goth mum, falling apart'. She says she's never papped or recognised because she looks so different off screen.

Without the fake tan and the glam, she says she gets the tube with her children every day and no one ever approaches her.

However she was thrilled once when a fan ran over and asked for an autograph – only to be deflated when she was asked to sign it 'to Annie, from Davina'.

Strictly Come Dancing - The Launch Show airs at 7.15pm on BBC One on Saturday 5 September.

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