My grandparents kept a suitcase by the door in case they needed to flee UK, says Claudia Winkleman

The Strictly Come Dancing presenter also said antisemitism was ‘horrendous’


Claudia Winkleman (Photo: Getty)

Claudia Winkleman has said her grandparents pre-packed suitcases in case they needed to flee the UK.

Winkleman, who is Jewish, also said antisemitism was “definitely” on her mind following Hamas’ terror attack on Israel.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the Strictly Come Dancing and The Traitors presenter went on: “I also think about Islamophobia more than I used to as well.

“The truth is that it’s all horrendous. I can’t dress it up. Antisemitism and Islamophobia both feel as if they’re on the rise around where I live [in central London].”

However, Winkleman stressed that she had never experienced antisemitism herself.

The presenter, who is active on social media, also said she avoided discussing antisemitism on many platforms.

“The problem [with social media] is there is zero nuance. Twitter is like a bar fight. So I choose not to go there,” she said. 

“I’m only interested in experts. I’m not interested in any other opinion.”

She cited journalists Jonathan Freedland and Giles Coren as people she listened to.

Winkleman, the mother of three teenagers, has presented Strictly Come Dancing for ten years and rose to further prominence with the success of The Traitors, which began in November 2022. 

Winkleman’s shows won the National Television Awards’ Best Talent Show and Best Reality Competition categories last year.

The star was absent from the awards, which took place on September 5, but she got the cast to explain why she couldn't be there in a note.

Wilf, one of the original Traitors, shared her words: "Thank you so much. I wish I was there but I'm busy wearing tweed and hunting traitors."

She added: "We're so grateful to make this show with our faithfuls and traitors. P.S If Wilf's wearing a cloak don't trust him."

Claudia was born in London to a Jewish family. Her parents are Eva Pollard, editor of multiple tabloid newspapers and magazines, and Barry Winkleman, a former publisher of The Times Atlas of the World.

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