claudia winkleman

Claudia Winkleman reveals psychologist 'saved her life' after daughter suffered burns

The Strictly star spoke frankly about the incident

Aisha Nozari

Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman has said that her friend Tanya Byron, who is a child psychologist, "saved her life" after her young daughter suffered serious burns when a costume that she was wearing on Halloween caught fire in 2014. Claudia's daughter Matilda was celebrating the occasion by wearing a witch costume, however, caught fire after brushing past a candle. Claudia has said that the incident had a serious effect on her mentally. 

Claudia and Tanya became friends after working together on the BBC Three show The House of Tiny Tearaways in 2005. Speaking to The Times, in a joint interview with Tanya that promoted their new podcast How Did We Get Here?, the doting mum explained: "It's my daughter's story. But I just knew I would need Tanya. I did [need her] and she put me back together again, let's just say that."

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Claudia's first ever Instagram post was of her children 

Claudia added that Tanya had been there to help when her family was "blindsided" by the ordeal and even said that she would "replay the trauma" which led her to be overly protective of Matilda and her two sons, Jake and Arthur.

MORE: Love Tess Daly & Claudia Winkleman's sequin dresses on Strictly Christmas? This is how you can buy them 

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Claudia and Tanya (pictured) are good friends 

MORE: Claudia Winkleman shares rare photo of teenage son on post-Strictly holiday

Claudia continued: "I am incredibly lucky that I happen to have an incredible friend who happens to be in my eyes the world's best clinical psychologist and I was facing something that felt, um, difficult. I don't want to use big words because I have to be respectful to [my daughter] and the rest of the family, but Tanya genuinely, well, she saved me."

Describing the candles, Claudia told the paper: "[They were] like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and they come back." The incident left Matilda with bad burns as the flames engulfing her costume could not easily be extinguished. The star even went on to campaign against highly flammable Halloween costumes.

Claudia was forced to step back from her 2014 Strictly Come Dancing hosting duties after the event.

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