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Claudia Winkleman to miss Strictly for third week

13 November 2014
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Claudia Winkleman will not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing this weekend. The TV presenter has instead decided to care for her young daughter Matilda who was badly injured in a recent Halloween accident. The eight-year-old's costume caught fire while she was out trick-or-treating in London with her mum, and was consequently hospitalised with severe burns. Since the accident, Claudia has missed her co-hosting duties with Tess Daly, and has been temporarily replaced by It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball.

Claudia Winkleman (left) has been absent from Strictly for the past two weeks 

A spokesperson for the BBC One dance show confirmed her absence, while other reports have claimed that Claudia, 42, may not return for the rest of the series before it wraps at Christmas. "Getting the gig on Strictly was a dream for Claudia, so it's cruel that she has had to pull out when things were all going so well," a source told The Sun. "But she is not going to leave Matilda's side until she is ready." "Matilda is taking great strides in her recovery, but a long way off being completely better," the source added. "Claudia doesn't think it would be appropriate to be on stage being upbeat while her daughter is unwell."

Zoe Ball (left) has replaced Claudia Winkleman and is co-presenting with Tess Daly

The TV personality, who joined Strictly this year, and her husband Kris Thykier released a statement at the time of the accident. "Our daughter was involved in an accident on Friday night while celebrating Halloween," it read. "She is having the best care possible and we are hopeful of a full recovery. "We would like to thank everyone that has been so supportive and particularly NHS doctors, nurses and staff who have been absolutely incredible." On the first night of her absence on the show, a BBC spokesperson had revealed that Claudia's daughter was unwell, but not the full extent of what had occurred. Claudia and her husband have three children together: Jake, Arthur and Matilda.

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