Strictly Come Dancing star reveals what Claudia and Tess are really like backstage

While the 2019 series crowned Kelvin Fletcher and professional dancer partner Oti Mabuse the most recent winners of Strictly Come Dancing less than two months ago, it won’t be long until the contestants of this year’s show will be revealed. While fans will be eager to find out who is signing up to the nation’s favourite dance competition, two people who are thought to be definitely returning are Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly. In his book, In Strictest Confidence, Craig Revel Horwood has revealed what the hosting duo are really like behind the scenes. 

In 2012, Claudia moved from Strictly’s sister show It Takes Two on BBC Two to the main show on BBC One to present the Sunday night edition.

Then in 2014, it was announced Claudia would replace Sir Bruce Forsyth as co-presenter with Tess for the 12th series. 

Since then, the pair have been at the helm of the iconic competition and judge Craig spoke about her joining the team in his book In Strictest Confidence. 

“I thought it was a great idea [for Claudia to replace Sir Bruce] because I love Claudia and I’d worked with her for years on It Takes Two and various other things, and I knew she was quirky enough and mad enough to make it her own,” he wrote.


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“Claudia and Tess make a great double act. The dynamic between Brucie and Tess was brilliant and you can’t replicate that, but bringing in Claudia shifted the dynamic completely,” he continued. 

“Like with Bruce, Tess plays the straight woman so Claudia has to be the comedy turn. 

“Bruce’s were enormous boots to fill but I think she has filled them in her own spectacular and kooky way, and that’s what’s so glorious about Claudia.” 

While Claudia seems the ultimate professional now, Craig said “it took Claudia a few weeks to settle into her role”. 

“She and Tess had to develop a double act together and you just don’t do that overnight. They have now honed their double act to a point where it could go on beyond Strictly, if the show were finished. 

“And it’s nice to see an all-female comic presenting team because it makes a refreshing change.” 

While Claudia delivers the fun on screen, it seems she and Tess get up to mischief backstage too. 

Craig said: “Claudia and Tess are genuinely best friends, and they’re always having little parties together after the show. 

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“Claudia will corner me and say, ‘Craigy, we’re having a party in Tess’ dressing room, you must come in.’ The last time, she was really insistent that I joined her, even though I had guests of my own in my dressing room. 

“When I finally agreed, she said, ‘Oh, good, we’ve run out of wine. Can you bring some of yours?’ The cheek! 

“Claudia created something unique for the show. She stayed true to herself and did both herself and he Strictly brand proud, and as any judge I’ll tell you, that isn’t easy,” he revealed. 


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It comes after Claudia spoke about her career in television and role on Strictly to the media during the Best Home Cook press day. 

I feel like I’ve already had too long a run. I am incredibly lucky,” she said. 

“I don’t want to sound like a d**khead, but that’s how I feel. I appreciate it.” 

But some fans of hers may be surprised she doesn’t watch anything she works on, explaining: “I can’t imagine how irritating I am.” 

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One this September. 

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