Claudia Winkleman on the 'life-changing' moment her 8-year-old daughter was burned in a fire: 'She just screamed 'Mummy''

The presenter speaks for the first time about the tragic Halloween accident

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Claudia Winkleman has opened up about the horrific ordeal of watching her eight-year-old daughter Matilda go up in flames when the Halloween costume she was wearing caught fire.

Her child suffered severe burns during the incident, which she described as a “life-changing” moment for her.

Speaking about the injury for the first time, she recalled to BBC Watchdog: “I was talking to somebody, and then I just heard her scream. She just screamed 'Mummy' and I turned round and that was that, she was just on fire.

“Everyone was screaming. She was screaming, all the kids there were screaming… It feels like she was on fire for hours but the surgeon said that definitely wasn't the case and it was probably just seconds.

“But she went up, is the only way I know how to describe it. It was not like fire I had seen before.”

She continued: “We couldn't put her out. We couldn't put her out - like if your shirt caught fire or anything I could put it out. It was the tights that... they came back to life.


“It was like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and then they come back.”

On just how serious Matilda’s burns were, she added: “It's life-changing but not life-defining. It was definitely life-changing for me.

“I can't remember life before it.”

Winkleman also delivered a strong message to other parents putting their children in fancy dress.

“I would like parents to, just on Halloween, just to think about what they're going to put their kids in because I didn't, and it cost us,“ she said.

Winkleman was absent from hosting Strictly Come Dancing for several weeks while she stayed with her daughter in hospital in November.

The Watchdog episode featuring Winkleman is set to air on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday.