The Traitors presenter’s very low-key approach to exercise and wellness


Claudia Winkleman is naturally hilarious, and never more so than when talking about herself.

Women’s Health dug through the archives to learn more about the 52-year-old’s favourite fitness, health and wellness habits – and it’ll come as no surprise that some of her claims are absolutely ridiculous.

Fake tanning with gravy granules? Well if it was good enough for your grandma during WW2 it’s good enough for Claudia.

Water, the elixir of life? None of that muck will pass the mum-of-three’s lips.

Taking her makeup off before bed? Jog on.

Read on for 19 of her wacky wellness claims (which may or may not have been said in jest…)

A spin class is her go-to exercise choice

She told Marie Claire: ‘My favourite thing is to do spin because I’m locked into the bike, so I can’t leave. Because anything else, I will leave. I don’t like sweating, I don’t like pain, I can’t get my head around any of it. It’s not for me. I know when I’m best and that’s lying down.

‘What you look like is the least interesting thing about you’

‘There are other friends of mine, really great friends of mine, they love it. They sweat, they’re in a bra, they listen to music, then they go up and shower and they have a great day. But I’m not that person.

‘I go to Psycle which is amazing. I love it, you know why? Because I never go out – I’m now, as I said, 110. In my fantasy I’m wearing knee-high boots, I’m in a night club, I’m dancing, there are tequila shots, I’m waving at Lenny Kravitz.’

She committed to Invisalign at 46

In 2018, Claudia was a guest on the Emma Guns Show, where she told host Emma Gunavardhana that she had invested in her smile with straightening braces – at the age of 46.

She said: ‘They’re part of the mid-life crisis, I’ve got Invisalign in. My teeth suddenly went crooked, one morning they all decided to fold in front of each other, you couldn’t do anything with them so I got this, I’m slightly in love with it. They’re so clever.’

Claudia also told Stylist that she is ‘obsessed with brushing my teeth. I look forward to it like people do with holidays.’

She thanks her fringe for boosting her sex life

Last year Claudia hit the road on a speaking tour dubbed Behind The Fringe. During her Guildford performance, she told fans that she will never trim or grow out her iconic heavy fringe as she believes it is the power behind her TV career – and sex life.

She said: ‘People ask, ‘did you always have a fringe?’. And yes I did. People ask what I am hiding with my fringe — and it’s a massive forehead that is repellent.

‘I was born with six extra teeth like a little dinosaur. When people saw me smile they screamed. But when I was 21 and a virgin, I got my fringe and everything started happening.’

She also told the Irish News why her fringe is more than just a style – it’s a defence against the mishaps of daily life. She said: ‘I think I came out of the womb with a fringe.

‘If you’re on the school run, if you look disgusting, if you are knackered, if you have lost your house keys, if you are in mismatching shoes and the world’s falling apart… if you’ve got a fringe – a heavy fringe – something’s still going on.’

Her must-have beauty product is less than £3.50

blistex Blistex Relief Cream – 5g

Blistex Relief Cream - 5g

blistex Blistex Relief Cream – 5g

Claudia previously revealed that she swears by a tube of CBlistex Relief Cream

, £3.50, even describing it as ‘The Daddy’ of lip salves. ‘If you have chapped lips, don’t worry about anything else,’ she said. ‘It really sorts them out, it’s inexpensive and is basically the Yoda of the lip-healing world.’

There are no mirrors in her house

In 2014, Claudia told WH‘s Going For Goal podcast that her mum – former newspaper editor Eve Pollard – had raised her in a home without any mirrors, and that she had continued this trend with her own family.

‘It’s not my thing. Yoga is for relaxed people, rational people’

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.

women in film and tv awards 2019

Dave Benett//Getty Images

Claudia and her mum, journalist Eve Pollard

‘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.’

She’s passionate about rest

Claudia is a very vocal advocate for napping, admitting to taking at least one a day.

Last March she wrote in her column for The Times: ‘Sleeping is vital and I’m not actually talking about at night. Correct, it’s absolutely fantastic to slump into bed at the end of a busy day. A good book (another great accessory) and some Aesop hand cream with your phone off is all delightful.

‘But now I’d like to discuss the importance of a daytime snooze. Call it a ‘meeting’, call it a ‘bit of me time’ (I beg of you, don’t do this). Whatever: get into bed whenever you can – for 20 minutes after the school run, for 30 after work, definitely at lunchtime if you’re WFH (‘Fine, I’ll come into the office once I’ve had a bit of shuteye’).’

Her endorsement came several years after she admitted she had to curb her twice a day nap habit. Speaking on the Emma Guns podcast, she said: ‘I’m not that busy, and I do like napping. I’ve had to stop having two naps a day as I was no longer sleeping at night, that’s what happened when I turned 46. I love a nap.

‘Yesterday I thought, ‘I don’t even need a nap, but I’m going to have one.’

‘I’ve had a good night’s sleep, it was not necessary. I didn’t have to leave the house until 2.45pm to pick up the kids, I’ve eaten, it’s 1.15pm, let’s just see what happens, an hour and a half later — snore.’

She has an attitude of gratitude

2023 royal academy of arts summer preview party arrivals

Joe Maher//Getty Images

Claudia is grateful for all she has achieved

Claudia doesn’t believe in regrets. She told the Irish News: ‘They’re a bit of a waste of time. Of course, I haven’t done everything right in my life, but I’m incredibly grateful for what I have. I think we’re all agreed, I’ve been far too lucky already.’

She never takes her makeup off before bed

‘I’ve never ever taken it off before bed. I take it off the next morning with my nifty Boots No7 gel which comes in a tube. Fantastic – don’t have to deal with pot opening. But no, I sleep in it. I have more fun in my dream.’

She added that her sheets and pillowcase are smeared with makeup and fake tan. ‘Yes, it’s disgusting. With the eyeliner and the spray tan, it looks like I’ve had quite a nasty accident. You just have to apologise. I just wash [the sheets] a lot.’

You also won’t be catching Claudia veering far from her usual look, a beauty chamelon she is not.

She said: ‘I don’t care about what I look like…orange, black eyes, Tippex mouth.

‘I don’t want to suddenly go, I’m throwing on a gloss and a bit of blush, I don’t want to change what I do, I want to get decrepit looking the same.’

She’s low-key away from work

Every Saturday and Sunday during the winter we get to see Claudia rocking some seriously luxe outfits, and her fancy country wardrobe of chunky knits and tartans has seriously impressed viewers of The Traitors. But, away from work, you won’t catch her looking like she does on screen.

She said: ‘It’s not sequins at home for me. I love the clothes on Strictly but I don’t get to keep them ever. One of the bonuses of the show is they completely take charge of my appearance and get me glammed up in a way I simply can’t achieve.’

She embraces imposter syndrome

She told Irish News: ‘I don’t want [my career] to end tomorrow. But if it does, I think I’ve had a ridiculously long run. More than anything, I love the adrenaline.

‘But I also can’t bear the arrogance of assuming that it’s just going to continue – I love a bit of imposter syndrome. I think it’s super healthy.’

She is a massive reader

‘Both my mother and my father were big readers, so it’s in my blood,’ she said. ‘But it’s also about habit – get into bed and pick up a book, not your phone. So long as it’s on charge in another room, I’m not interested in my phone.’

Drinking a glass of water is a hard no

When she was a guest on the Off Menu podcast, she made a startling admission… she hates water. She said: ‘I don’t like or believe in water, I won’t have it… I’ve never knowingly had water, I don’t like it.

‘When people drink it, like my husband drinks great amounts of water, and I really like him but it’s problematic.He’s glugging, don’t touch me, “Clau, take your bra off”’… I don’t think so. That was disgusting, you should be ashamed of yourself.

‘I’m never thirsty, I’ve never been thirsty…. and I don’t like the taste. Sparkling is too much of a shock. I just don’t like liquid… is this too weird?’

She loves a long shower

Claudia told the Belfast Telegraph that she loves to unwind with a hot shower at the end of the day.

She said: ‘This is going to be weird for you because most people are probably going to say bath, but I love an endless shower. You turn the shower on and you get in and you go, ‘Here we go’. I have Head & Shoulders, the new Nourishing Care Lavender one. It’s so amazing. You open it up and suddenly you’re in Provence.’

She’s not a fan of yoga

Writing in her Times column, Claudia shut down any ideas that she might be a yogi in disguise.

She told readers: ‘It’s not my thing. Yoga is for relaxed people, rational people, it’s for people who think about breathing correctly, and it’s for people who want to be calm, at peace, in control and centred.

‘I’ve never knowingly had water, I don’t like it’

‘Yoga is for people who can think tranquil thoughts, for people who won’t go nuts in a queue. It’s for people who can meditate, who can differentiate between what is important and what is not.

‘Well, I am frenetic, frantic, wound up, irrational, not calm and not breathing right. I have laughed at yoga, guffawed at downward dogs. I have giggled at hummus and bare feet and balance. I have chortled at yoga retreats and headstands and inner peace.’

She has a healthy approach to nutrition

Mentioning a cheat meal to Claudia is as dangerous as calling out a suspected Traitor at a round table. She told Marie Claire that she loathes the term, and that it can make how we talk about food take a darker turn.

She said: ‘I’ve got quite a lot to say about this. Number one, I don’t think it should be called a cheat meal…I think, then what are the other meals? I think we all have to be careful about the way we talk about it. So, not a cheat meal – what is my favourite meal of all time: roast chicken, roast potatoes, horseradish. Buttery peas, then a cheese board that WILL include Gorgonzola, and then probably Tiramisu.’

She also previously admitted that once the cameras have stopped rolling at the Strictly studio, she and co-host Tess Daly, 54, will happily tuck in to a Dominos. In 2016, she told Red Magazine, ‘We always get a takeaway after filming. Often it’s Domino’s but I have been known to eat four Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s.’

Claudia has also reflected on her love for toasted cheese sandwiches and avocados.

She’s caffeine free

Claudia’s effervescent, frenetic energy is all natural. She told SheerLuxe: ‘I don’t actually drink caffeine. I think I had some in about 1998 and was awake for three days. I don’t like feeling frenzied or like I’m on a rollercoaster, so if I do have coffee, I only drink decaf. Failing that, it’s usually Ribena Light.’

preview for The Traitors Series 2 - Official Trailer (BBC)

Au naturale? Oh no! She loves to be ‘orange’

If you’ve ever adjusted the colour levels of your telly while watching Claudia, you can be forgiven. She does often have bright orange skin – she describes herself as a ‘short, orange person with a fringe’ – and she loves it.

She previously admitted, ‘I like being orange, I think it is because I was born in 1972, I am an eighties kid so everything was like ultra glow.’

When working on Strictly, she gets three professional spray tans a week, but she has also shared her DIY fake tanning methods, telling Radio Four’s Women’s Hour with Emma Barnett that at university she resorted to smearing herself with used teabags and even Bisto gravy granules.

She also claims to using a kitchen scourer to slough off the old tan when she’s ready for a fresh coat. She told In The Bathroom: ‘If you were using a Dulux colour chart, if there was one on there that said tangerine, right at the bottom, the one where you say, “That’s going to be too much for our walls”, it’s not too much for me. Put it on.’

She has serious eyesight issues

Claudia was born with myopia, an incurable eye condition which seriously affects her sight. She was born with -15 vision, and has undergone several surgeries to try and improve it – and her quality of life.

She told the How To Fail podcast: ‘I’ve always had terrible eyesight. Which is going back to the blurriness of the paintings I like and the blurriness of how I really like life to be.

‘I’ve had a couple of operations since then because I was just banging into walls. But now I wear lenses or glasses or whatever.’

She explained more to The Sun in 2021, saying: ‘I can’t even begin to tell you how blind I am. It’s embarrassing. I can’t read the autocue. My eyes have deteriorated so badly, I’m not meant to drive. I am doing the wrong job.’

Claudia has also claimed that her eyesight means that she has ‘never really been able to see my face’.

She added: ‘Everything is ish, it’s just a vague idea which is how I’d like to live. I don’t want to live in a perfect land. I want to live in fuzzy world. I like irregular and ramshackle and messy. Just look at the way I do my eye makeup.’

She’s a CBD advocate

Claudia started taking CBD oil during lockdown as she struggled to homeschool her youngest son. She found it made her much calmer when dealing with him, and also enjoyed other ways it mellowed her out during very uncertain times.

She said: ‘I found CBD oil and felt much calmer…It definitely transformed my sleep and the way I feel about the world.

‘Sleep is very, very important to me and CBD oil absolutely shifted that for the better because I’m also 51 so I must be up the kazoo regarding hormones. I have a bath with a bath melt (from Cannaray) which has got coconut in it and leaves your skin smooth and lovely. Then I like to wrap myself up like a yeti in a towel, get into bed with a book and take two Cannaray capsules before I go to sleep. I love a two-hour wind-down.’

She even teamed up with Cannaray to launch her own beauty and wellness collection.


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