Strictly's Claudia Winkleman declares she 'can't wait' to turn 50

‘I love getting older!’ Strictly’s Claudia Winkleman declares she ‘can’t wait’ to turn 50 – as she cites rockers Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper as her image inspirations

Claudia Winkleman has declared that she ‘can’t wait’ to turn 50 as she counts down the months until reaching the milestone birthday.

The Strictly Come Dancing co-host, 49, plans to greet the big day with aplomb when it arrives in January, particularly as she’s certain she’ll look the same.

Speaking during an appearance on Women’s Health Going for Goal podcast, the TV personality also displayed her dry wit as she joked that rockers Gene Simmons, 71, and Alice Cooper, 73, are her image inspirations. 

Fabulous at 50: Claudia Winkleman has declared that she ‘can’t wait’ to turn 50 as she counts down the months until reaching the milestone birthday. Pictured in 2019

She said: ‘I love getting older… I can’t wait to be fifty. It’s not that I want time to go fast, but I’m absolutely fine with it, and I’ll still look the same. I want to look like Gene Simmons or Alice Cooper, so it’s not like I want to look young and bouncy and fresh.’

While the rock stars were well known for layering on heavy makeup in the prime of their music careers, Claudia has admitted that her ‘love affair’ is with fake tan.

Explaining how it all started, the mother-of-three said: ‘There was a product called Ultra Glow and it was a pat of just brown, just like a solid piece of something that could make you teak. 

‘My mum used it and I’ve always forever been in love with, I think it’s Guerlain, it’s called Terracotta, it’s an unbelievable product, the powder.

Image inspiration: The TV personality displayed her dry wit as she joked that rockers (L-R) Alice cooper, 73, and Gene Simmons, 71, are her image inspirations

‘I just put some on my face and suddenly felt – it’s a big word but I’m going to say it – alive. That was it, that was my love affair.’

Claudia was born to author and journalist Eve Pollard and publisher Barry Winkleman. Following her parents’ divorce when she was four, Eve went on to marry newspaper editor and broadcaster Sir Nicholas Lloyd when Claudia was seven.

Discussing how her upbringing shaped her relationship with image, she said: ‘I was brought up in a house without mirrors, so my mum is a huge believer – and my dad – in the shell is only that…

‘What I look like, how I’ve done my eyeliner – that’s not the shiz, the stuff is the inside, the chat, the brains, the laughs, the loyalty, the kindness, the cooking an extraordinary roast chicken.

‘What you look like is the least interesting thing about you, it’s got to be, because it is all going to fall apart, and I hope I’ve passed that onto my kids as well.’

Love and marriage: Claudia shares three children with her film producer husband of 21 years, Kris Thykier. Pictured together in 2018

And her mother’s influence didn’t end there: ‘It wasn’t like “look, you have to pick” [between being a mum and advancing her career].

‘She was editing a Sunday newspaper, and she’d still come home on a Saturday night, put me to bed and then go back… She taught me that family comes first, and she taught me that eating together is important, and to be respectful.’

However, Claudia – who shares three children with her film producer husband of 21 years, Kris Thykier – is also certain to take time out to get adequate rest. 

‘Sleep is my greatest present to myself,’ she said. ‘Even if I’ve slept well, I’ll have nap. Even when I was working in an office, I’d just close my eyes for twenty minutes…

‘Nobody’s at the office all day, so definitely put in a fake meeting, lie down, don’t get fully under the covers, don’t close the curtains, but lie there, close your eyes, that’s my favourite thing.’

Immense success: Claudia has enjoyed immense fame as a co-host on Strictly Come Dancing, alongside Tess Daly, Pictured together in 2020

That said, her schedule is as busy as ever, after taking over Graham Norton’s hosting gig on his hugely popular show on Radio 2 – and she admits she constantly feels nervous about it, a feeling she embraces.

She explained: ‘Following Graham, who I love more than life itself, I just felt really nervous, but I’ve loved it… they’re looking after me and so far, it’s going OK, but will I be nervous for the next year?

‘Yes, I think it’ll take that long… Any time when I’ve done something and I’m not nervous I’m really useless, so I think I actually need it.

‘I loved exams at school, I loved my finals, I loved my A-levels. I like being tested; I like being put on the spot.’

Listen to the full Claudia Winkleman interview on the Women’s Health Going for Goal podcast from Tuesday. 

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