Tess Daly: Missing Bruce on Strictly, laughing with Alan Carr and the awkward reproduction chat!

Guest writer Tess Daly on Claudia Winkleman filling in for Bruce on Strictly, being honoured with an Inspiration Award and having that awkward birds and the bees chat with her daughters...

On Strictly at the weekend I stood in for Bruce as he was unwell (Get well soon Brucie), which meant that the wonderful Claudia (Winkleman) and I hosted both the Saturday night show and the results show together.

Considering it is only week two, the standard of dancing was just incredible and we saw some of the highest scores EVER to be seen on the show at this early stage of the competition.

My highlights from this weekend have got to be Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Charleston and actress Natalie Gumede's wonderful waltz. I really felt for golfer Tony Jacklin as we said goodbye to our first celebrity to be voted off the show.

[Tess Daly: On being reunited with Strictly BFF Claudia]

It’s interesting to spot who's been putting in the training hours and who's struggling with the pressure. Mind you I'm sure I would struggle with those gruelling 6-8 hour training days (EVERY day).

Of course there IS a great incentive to get fit and have fun doing it! Most of our celebs have lost weight already...

On Wednesday I enjoyed lots of laughs with Alan Carr on the set of his ‘Chatty Man’ show.

I was hugely honoured to receive an award at the Inspiration Awards for Women which sadly I couldn't attend as it was the same night as Alan Carr but I was awarded the ‘Inspirational Aspirational Style’ award.

Past winners include Helen Mirren and Victoria Beckham and this year’s nominees included some of my own style icons including Stella McCartney and Yasmin Le Bon.

This week there's lots to look forward to, including tonight’s ‘Pride of Britain Awards’. It’s always a very moving event due to the extraordinary nature and bravery of the people being honoured.

Tomorrow I'm hosting a cookie baking and decorating play date at our house that promises to be fun (and messy!). Yesterday we practised by decorating pre-baked gingerbread men.

I've been inspired to get baking by my Strictly results show co host - and this weeks main show co-host too! - Claudia Winkleman. She happens to be SO creative in the cake department.

She could give Mary Berry a run for her money! Last week she brought a batch of her gooey chocolate fudge brownies to the studio. I had to make her swear she hadn't actually just bought them from a posh bakery on route - they were THAT good.

Thursday night brings parents evening for Reception class (already! They've only been there a matter of days it seems). We’re looking forward to hearing how Amber is coping with her new school routine from the teachers’ perspective. She skips off happily enough each morning, waving us off quite independently so here's hoping for a good report.

[Tess Daly: Sneaking in their five-a-day and meeting Prince Harry]
[Tess Daly: After school fun and all the gossip from Strictly]

However, I am a little apprehensive this week as far as Phoebe, my eldest, is concerned. The other day she brought her new ‘Key Stage 2 Science’ handbook home. While flicking through I came across the subject every parent DREADS...reproduction! Complete with helpful detailed diagrams of the human reproduction system of course.


We haven't got CLOSE to broaching the subject as yet (she's only 8-years-old after all!). We're still in the "front bottom" stages (of naming genitalia). The closest we've got so far was when she recently told her Dad that "I grew in mummy's belly, but YOU, daddy, didn't have to do ANYTHING. Mummy did it ALL by herself!"

I wasn't about to put her right just yet. As a parent, your instinct is to prolong a child's innocence for as long as possible. Clearly it’s not long now until she starts asking THE questions! Gulp…

Over the weekend I'm looking forward to catching up with a friend who's visiting from New York. We used to live there together in the late 90's while working in the modelling industry before she moved to Brooklyn and had babies and I moved back to the UK to start a career in television.

We'll probably squeeze in a bit of sightseeing in the Capital. I've got my eye on a Thames river cruise (weather permitting). I've found a company that sails straight into London Zoo! The kids will love it…

Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Love from Tess xxx

Read more from guest writer Tess Daly:

Tess Daly: Back To School, Back To Strictly
Tess Daly: Sneaking in their five-a-day and meeting Prince Harry
Tess Daly: After school fun and all the gossip from Strictly