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Claudia Winkleman on ‘overwhelming’ work schedule: “It left me crying my eyes out”

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Kayleigh Dray
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Claudia Winkleman is famed for a number of things; that iconic blunt fringe, her statement make-up look, and her seriously funny and natural style of presenting.

However, stepping away from humour, the 44-year-old presenter has given a serious interview about the pressures of her ‘overwhelming’ work schedule.

Speaking to Red, Winkleman explained that she was forced to quit BBC One’s Film 2016 after being reduced to tears after finding it increasingly difficult to achieve a feasible work-life balance.



She said: “I’m incredibly sad about having to give up the film programme. Last year, and the year before, I was completely overwhelmed.

 “I’d call my husband on Christmas Eve from the floor of John Lewis crying my eyes out because I hadn’t got anything for the kids and I’d missed the nativity play.”

Claudia Winkleman with her husband Kris Thykier

Claudia Winkleman with her husband Kris Thykier

Winkleman, who has three children with her husband Kris Thykier, added:“I need to be more present, because I don’t want to miss the nativity again. 

“But, look, I just read out loud for a living. Most of my friends are doctors or lawyers, people I went to university with, they’re on the train at 7am and don’t get home until 7pm.

“They work bloody hard, and they’re allowed to be overwhelmed. I don’t think I’m allowed, really.”



Winkleman also touched upon rumours of a ‘feud’ between her and fellow Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly – and put them down to simple misogyny.

“Most women love and support other women,” she said. “So three people on Twitter – probably men – saying ‘I bet they don’t like each other’ doesn’t bother us.”

It’s not the first time that a celebrity has spoken out about the difficulties of maintaining a work-life balance.

Mila Kunis – who welcomed her second child earlier this week – previously admitted that she finds it difficult to balance her acting career with being a mother to her and Ashton Kutcher’s young daughter, Wyatt.

“Simply put, the idea of balance doesn’t exist,” she told The Cut. “It is your work or your kid, but you can’t balance it.

“There is really, in my opinion, no such thing. One will take a weight.”



She added that the only real solution was to ask for help with balancing childcare and work commitments.

“A happy woman, a fulfilled woman, will only make a better mother,” she said. “And at the end of the day, I have to be happy with who I am and what I do.

“That is the only way I’ll be able to be a good mom for my daughter.”

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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