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TV: In Claudia Winkleman we trust in new series The Traitors

© BBC/Studio Lambert Associates/MaThe Traitors.
The Traitors.

Claudia Winkleman greets 22 strangers as they arrive at a beautiful castle in the Highlands. Is it a sparkly Strictly spin-off?

Not a bit of it. This is The Traitors, the ultimate game of detection, back-stabbing and trust, in which the contestants hope to win up to £120,000.

Hidden among them are The Traitors, whose job is to secretly murder a player every night, without getting caught.

Of course it’s not a real murder – although given those who are “killed” are eliminated from winning the jackpot.

The biggest shock is Winkleman revealing that, instead of Strictly sequins, she’s a fan of tweed.

And her style icon for the show is – Ronnie Corbett!

“I have a brilliant girl who gets all my clothes for Strictly and we were like, ‘Let’s go for a touch of Ronnie Corbett, a bit of Princess Anne and Madonna when she married Guy Richie’,” she said.

“I don’t know whether you can use any of those references! The clothing was amazing. We wanted to be respectful but we also did want to wear a lot of tweed and then somebody showed me Alan Cummings’ look, as he has done the American version.

“I was like, ‘Guys, we’re all right… this is my dream wardrobe and what I have wanted to wear but I’ve never been to the countryside so I’ve never worn it before’.”

The Traitors is a gripping concept and it even drew homebird Winkleman away from her family and to the Highlands.

“The producers sent me the Dutch version of the show and they said, ‘Watch this, it really worked and we’d like to make a version in Scotland but you’ll have to leave home for three weeks’.

“And I was like, ‘I don’t think so’ and then I watched episode one and I didn’t sleep or eat for two days. I watched the whole series.

“I said to them, ‘I will get to Scotland myself, I will make sandwiches for the whole cast and crew. Please please please let me do this’. I was absolutely hooked.

“When I took part, my husband would call and say, ‘Amazing news the youngest one did such and such in a spelling test’ and I was like, ‘Never mind that, you wait until you see what is happening up here’. My family totally lost me whilst I was away filming this.”

Winkleman is used to hosting Strictly in an altogether nicer role.

“On this I’m a bit crueller,” she said, “But the problem is I’m on all of their sides. I want the Traitors to win and I also want the Faithfuls to catch them.

“It’s confusing, it’s like having an affair or something.”

The Traitors, BBC1, Tuesday, 9.30pm