Claudia Winkleman, 47, and Tess Daly, 50, have been fronting Strictly Come Dancing together since the former replaced Sir Bruce Forsyth as co-host back in 2014. For years prior to landing the job on the main show, Claudia also worked as part of the Strictly family presenting It Takes Two. In an interview with Express.co.uk, Tess opened up about their chemistry. “Claudia’s my mate, I’ve known her for years and years,” she said earnestly. “We’ve grown up together on TV, it feels like that.”
Looking back over her longstanding professional relationship with Claudia, the Strictly presenter continued: “We filmed together on the Sunday results show before we started doing the main show together, so we already had that experience of standing side-by-side on the Strictly floor.
“It felt like a natural progression for us to do that.
“It always felt natural and right and, when you genuinely get on with someone, it is a joy to stand next to them on the floor because it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like an extension of your friendship,” Tess added. “It’s comfortable.”
She also explained how her friendship with Claudia off-screen meant they didn’t have to “fake” it on camera.
“You don’t have to fake any camaraderie – it’s already there because you genuinely like the person. That always helps.”
Tess and her husband Vernon Kay, 45, are parents to two daughters, Phoebe, 14, and Amber, 10, while Claudia has three children with her husband Kris Thykier, 47, Jake, 16, Matilda, 13, and Arthur, eight.
Speaking out on how their lives have progressed alongside each other over the years they have been working on Strictly, Tess said: “Strictly’s a show that’s based on good will.
“A lot of people working on the show have been there for years.
“We had children at the same time and now we’ve got teenagers who are towering over us,” she said. “The head cameraman’s wife bakes cakes for us all on a Friday.
“We’ve known each other for years, a lot of us, and we’ve grown up on the show.
“The show’s been on for 15 years now and it’s been a huge part of my life for that time, the Strictly favourite added.
Tess has hosted Strictly since it first aired in 2004, sharing the spotlight with the late Sir Bruce until he stepped down 10 years later.
Elsewhere, she has teamed up with O2 and the NSPCC to promote their Net Aware campaign, a site which gives parents guidance on the latest apps, social media sites and games in order to help them keep their children safe online.
“Keeping kids dafe online can feel quite overwhelming for parents in general because there are so many apps, apps arriving on an almost hourly basis,” she explained.
“Since kids are born, parents hold their hands, they teach them dangers in the real world, whether it’s crossing the road or holding sharp objects,” she noted. “We need to apply that same level of scrutiny to kids online.
The Strictly Come Dancing live shows kick off Saturday September 21 on BBC One.
O2 and NSPCC have created Net Aware, a website where parents can learn about the latest apps and games and get tips on how to keeps their kids safe online: https://net-aware.org.uk.