Claudia Winkleman on swearing, success and secrets: ‘I had to sign a contract promising not to sing’ Culture | The Guardian

With three hit shows – Strictly, The Traitors and the returning The Piano – Claudia Winkleman is TV’s hottest presenter. She talks about being tone deaf, being a style icon … and why she’s allergic to praise

Claudia Winkleman is convinced she gave the ick to Mika and Lang Lang, her co-stars on Channel 4 hit The Piano. “They’re so alarmed by my eating habits,” she says. “My mic’s always on and all they can hear is me munching beef-flavoured Hula Hoops.” To illustrate the point, she launches into an uncanny impression of loud crisp-crunching noises echoing down a lapel mic.

Winkleman recently wrapped filming a new run of the ivory-tinkling talent search, which has meant living off train station food. “I look up each one’s eateries in advance,” she admits. “I adore a Greggs and I’ve fallen in love with Upper Crust. They do a cheddar baguette that’s almost erotic. Obviously, I always have a Burger King. A Murder King, I call it. You know you’re in a different class of station if there’s a Leon. In Liverpool, they’ve got Krispy Kreme. I crashed and burned by 9.48am because I made the mistake of scoffing a tray of Original Glazed for breakfast. I was like: ‘Guys, I need a nap.’ The producer went: ‘Can somebody get Claud a coffee? And no more sugar!’ OK, boss, fair enough.”

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