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Strictly Come Dancing: Claudia Winkleman to replace Sir Bruce Forsyth on show

Winkleman will join Tess Daly when the series begins in the autumn

Claudia Winkleman has been announced as the new co-host of Strictly Come Dancing following the departure of the television legend Sir Bruce Forsyth.

The announcement by the BBC ends weeks of speculation prompted by Sir Bruce's decision to step down from the show after a decade.

Winkleman, who already presents the Sunday night results show, will join Tess Daly. The pair were expected to to land the permanent slot together after impressing viewers with their on-screen chemistry in the weekly results show and during Sir Bruce's occasional absences.

Winkleman, who will be upstairs hosting the post-dance interviews, said: "I have loved Strictly since the second it appeared on our screens and I am honoured and thrilled to now be part of the Saturday night team.

"Working alongside Tess is always fantastic and I can't wait to spend the weekends with her, our amazing dancers and the greatest judging panel on the planet. Sir Bruce is a living legend and we'll all miss him very much."

Winkleman and Daly will begin co-hosting when the series returns in the autumn. Daly will take over from Sir Bruce and will introduce each of the dances and probe the judges for their reactions.

Daly said: "I'm so pleased that I'll be working with Claudia - she's long been part of the Strictly family and I've loved doing the Sunday show with her.

"It's really exciting having two women host the show, and we are great mates so there'll be lots of fun to be had on and off the dance floor, and of course I'll look forward to being reunited with Brucie for the Children In Need and Christmas shows."

Programme judge Bruno Tonioli recently declared he would love to see the duo given the role, when he said: "I'll be delighted to have Tess and Claudia - they are fantastic, they work very well together."

Additional reporting by the Press Association