Strictly Come Dancing star Tess Daly reveals behind-the-scenes antics with close friend Claudia Winkleman

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pose for a photo backstage
(Instagram)

Tess Daly has been at the helm of Strictly Come Dancing since its inception in 2004, but it was in 2014 that the presenter first teamed up with her good friend, Claudia Winkleman, to host the show. Today, they're the dynamic duo that we all know and love, and in 2019, Claudia even revealed that they've made a pact to only co-host the show together.

"Tess and I will leave at the same time," Claudia said on the Is It Just Me? podcast. "We've made that pact over pizza. We'll go together, whenever they're done with us."

Ahead of the first live show of series 21, Tess, 54, has taken part in a new interview with the BBC, where she revealed some of her behind-the-scenes antics with co-star Claudia – and it sounds like they have the best time together.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman with Bruno Tonioli
Tess and Claudia are always up for a dance backstage (Instagram)

As it turns out, it's not just the pros that get in on the action, with Tess explaining that she and Claudia are always up for a dance. "The one song that never fails to get me on the dancefloor at parties is Calvin Harris and Rihanna We Found Love," the presenter explained.

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"When we had no audiences in the studio, we would play it between shows to lift the energy in the studio and me and Claudia would dance around like no one was watching!"

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pose for a photo backstage in the Strictly studio
The pair have been co-hosting Strictly since 2014 (Instagram)

Claudia, 51, has also spoken about the new series, and remarked that she couldn't be more excited to reunite with her good friend, Tess. "The thing I am most looking forward to this series is us all being together," she said.

"I love standing next to Tess and love trying on sparkly outfits. And mainly, I cannot wait to watch these people learn to dance."

Tess has also teased what's to come this season. "This new cast are so exciting," she said. "They're so full of fun and just totally up for it and they're also completely adorable. I fell in love with them all from the off at the launch show. I have high hopes we are in for a spellbinding series."

Every Strictly Come Dancing winner so far

  • 2004: Natisha Kaplinsky (partner Brendan Cole)

  • 2004: Jill Halfpenny (partner Darren Bennett)

  • 2005: Darren Gough (partner Lilia Kopylova)

  • 2006: Mark Ramprakash (partner Karen Hardy)

  • 2007: Alesha Dixon (partner Matthew Cutler)

  • 2008: Tom Chambers (partner Camilla Dallerup)

  • 2009: Chris Hollins (partner Ola Jordan)

  • 2010: Kara Tointon (partner Artem Chigvintsev)

  • 2011: Harry Judd (partner Aliona Vilani)

  • 2012: Louis Smith (partner Flavia Cacace)

  • 2013: Abbey Clancy (partner Aljaž Škorjanec)

  • 2014: Caroline Flack (partner Pasha Kovalev)

  • 2015: Jay McGuiness (partner Aliona Vilani)

  • 2016: Ore Oduba (partner Joanne Clifton)

  • 2017: Joe McFadden (partner Katya Jones)

  • 2018: Stacey Dooley (partner Kevin Clifton)

  • 2019: Kelvin Fletcher (partner Oti Mabuse)

  • 2020: Bill Bailey (partner Oti Mabuse)

  • 2021: Rose Ayling-Ellis (partner Giovanni Pernice)

  • 2022: Hamza Yassin (partner Jowita Przystał)

Claudia and Tess, who will mark nine years as a TV duo on Strictly, have spoken about their sweet friendship in numerous interviews. Back in 2022, the pair chatted to the Express, with Tess telling the publication: "Claudia's my mate, I've known her for years and years. We've grown up together on TV, it feels like that."

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman as hosts of Strictly Come Dancing
Tess and Claudia are gearing up to host the live shows for series 21 (BBC)

She added: "It always felt natural and right and, when you genuinely get on with someone, it is a joy to stand next to them on the floor because it doesn't feel like work, it feels like an extension of your friendship."

We can't wait to see Tess and Claudia back in the ballroom for season 21!