Claudia Winkleman apologises for ‘pause’ on Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman appeared to zone out when she momentarily stopped speaking in the middle of her usual banter with co-star Tess Daly.

As the closing credits ran on the show this evening, Tess announced that Survivor was coming up next on BBC One, which triggered an extraordinarily long pause from Claudia while live on-air.

Her mind appeared to be elsewhere, before she snapped back into presenter mode, exclaiming: “Sorry about the pause!”

The pair then ritualistically grabbed each other’s arms and chanted together: “Keep dancing!”

Over on Twitter, fans were in hysterics, with @AGH1494 declaring: “I bl***y love Claudia! ‘SORRY ABOUT THE PAUSE,'” before punctuating his feelings with a string of laughter emojis.

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@RooPritchard also picked up on the apparent blunder, posting: “‘Coming up next on BBC One: Survivor. *enormous silent pause* #Strictly.”

@HertsSid was equally amused, chiming in: “Claud cannot leave ever!”

Fortunately for fans, there’s no chance of an exit happening any time soon, with the 50-year-old previously joking that she’ll continue to host Strictly “until they tell me to pick up my bottle of fake tan and leave”.

However, there was a heart-in-mouth moment in 2021, which the tearful star admitted had almost resulted in her handing in her notice and walking away.

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She’d clashed with BBC bosses over scheduling, after becoming worried that her first Strictly filming session of the year would coincide with her son’s first day at university.

She later recalled to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour: “I phoned the boss of Strictly, quite dramatically and said through tears, ‘Sarah, I love you and I never want to leave, but if the first show is September 13th, I’m out’.”

Claudia started on Strictly: It Takes Two almost two decades ago, before joining the main Saturday night show in 2014 – and she hasn’t looked back since.

She’s also become a popular fixture on psychological thriller reality show The Traitors, involving a team of total strangers moving into a remote castle in the Scottish Highlands.

The BBC has now confirmed that the show will be back soon for its third series, with Claudia continuing as host.

Claudia was originally unsure about the role and considered turning it down after she heard it would involve a three-week long stay in Inverness.

However, with her at the helm, the show went on to win a string of awards, including a BAFTA for Best Reality Show and a National Television Award for Best Reality Competition.

An exact return date for The Traitors hasn’t yet been confirmed, but for those hoping to see Claudia on screen in the meantime, the Strictly results show airs on Sunday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

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