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Claudia Winkleman: 'Feeling like an imposter keeps me on my toes'

Greer McNally
·Contributor
·2-min read
Claudia Winkleman announces partnership with No7 at No7 Laboratories Skin Clinic on April 10, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Claudia Winkleman has opened up about having imposter syndrome. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

She’s the incredibly successful co-presenter of Strictly Come Dancing, so you’d think Claudia Winkleman would be pretty confident when it comes to her career.

But as it turns out, she actually spends most of her time waiting to be fired.

Why? Because the Strictly star suffers from imposter syndrome. She opened up about how it affects her in an interview with the Daily Mail at the weekend.

She told the paper: “I’m waiting for somebody to tap me on the shoulder and go, ‘Oh, sorry, we’ve got this all wrong, you are not allowed to go in again, we’ve got Rylan instead,’ but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Imposter syndrome is incredibly useful.”

Read more: Claudia Winkleman has written her first book

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

She said she didn’t want to be kind of person who thinks: “I was born to do this, get out of my way.

She added: “Feeling – don’t throw up – grateful and slightly surprised I think is a good thing. It keeps you on your toes.’

Now the star is about to add author to her list of talents, having written a book entitled Quite during lockdown.

Winkleman says a lot of her down-to-earth attitude and family-centric approach to life comes from her mother Eve Pollard, who was the second-ever woman editor of a national newspaper.

Eve Pollard and Claudia Winkleman attend the Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 at Hilton Park Lane on December 06, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Women in Film and TV)
Claudia Winkleman and her mother Eve Pollard attend the Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 in London, England. (David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Women in Film and TV)

“I always knew I came first with my parents, and I try to do that with my kids,” Winkleman said.

“When my son was really little, I was going to work, and he asked why.

“I couldn’t explain to him the mortgage and all of that, so I just said, ‘Mummy’s going to work to buy bananas,’ because he loved bananas then.

“He must have been six when he came up to me, holding bananas, going, ‘Mummy, you don’t need to go, we have bananas!’ I had to explain that I actually like going to work.”

Read more: Claudia Winkleman on future Strictly exit: 'Tess Daly and I will go together'

The Strictly presenter joined Tess Daly as co-presenter on the talent show after Bruce Forsyth left in 2014.

Winkleman said the pair are firm friends, and that Daly is the one who “looks after and helps” her.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.