‘Don’t know how it’ll work’ Claudia Winkleman on anxiety as she prepared for life change

Claudia Winkleman speaks about empty nest syndrome

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Claudia Winkleman spoke candidly about a change in her family dynamics during a recent interview. The Strictly Come Dancing presenter warned BBC show bosses she would be “out” of the programme if the launch show coincided with a family move. It comes as she opened up about the anxiety she experienced with empty nest syndrome.

It came as the small-screen star prepared for her eldest son to leave the family home.

The 49-year-old is married to husband Kris Thykier and the couple share three children – Jake, 18, Matilda, 15, and Arthur, 10.

Empty Nest Syndrome refers to the grief that many parents feel when their children move out.

The BBC host explained that she “didn’t know how it would work” with Strictly, while dealing with her son leaving for university.

Claudia admitted she was prepared to throw in the towel on the BBC show due to her family move.

Speaking on Women’s Hour to Emma Barnett in July, she opened up about her angst over saying goodbye to her son.

“I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to do,” Claudia began. “I mean we all have to do it.”

She added: “[My son] goes September 13.”

The presenter contacted the boss at Strictly and explained she wouldn’t be able to host the show alongside her co-star Tess Daly, as she believed it coincided with her son’s departure date.

“I don’t want to cry on your show because I feel like it’s the beginning of the week and let’s be upbeat,” Claudia explained. “But I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to do.”

She continued: “I mean we all have to do it, there aren’t any words.

“I phoned the boss of Strictly quite dramatically and said, through tears, ‘Sarah I love you. I don’t want to leave Strictly and Tess and I have agreed we will leave together when they’re done with us, but if the first show is 13 September, I’m out and you’ll have to go with somebody else. And there was a beat.”


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Claudia went on: “And she said, ‘Quite dramatic. We don’t start that week.’

“It was a rite of passage, I have to go and hang up his posters and I don’t know and it’s not because I love him more than other parents love their kids but this is something parents have to go through.”

Claudia’s candid admission was also discussed on Lorraine Kelly’s ITV show today.

The Scottish-born host played a clip from the Strictly presenter’s in-depth chat.

She began: “We’re talking about Empty Nest Syndrome.

“Thousands of children are heading off to college and university this month.

“This is something that parents are facing including Strictly’s Claudia [Winkleman] who shared her own anxiety during a recent interview.”

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday on BBC One at 7pm.

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