Claudia Winkleman has spoken for the first time of the horrific accident in which her daughter was severely burned when her Halloween costume caught fire.
Interviewed for the BBC consumer programme Watchdog tonight, the presenter calls on parents to think more carefully about the costumes they dress their children in.
Winkleman, 43, who hosts Strictly Come Dancing, said her daughter, Matilda Thykier, eight, was hospitalised for weeks after the accident, which she described as “life-changing”.
“It’s life-changing, but not life-defining,” she said. “It was definitely life-changing for me. I can’t remember life before it… I wish I had been dressed as the witch is mainly all I wish; that it had happened to me… she went up, and I don’t want that to happen to another child.”
She added: “I live in a square where all the kids get dressed up and we go around the square trick-or-treating… I bought her costume from a supermarket, she wanted to go as a witch so she had a witch’s hat and a cape and some stripy tights and a sort of long flowy skirt thing.”
The accident happened while Matilda was visiting the third house. Winkleman said: “I was talking to somebody… and then I heard her shout and she was on fire… it feels like she was on fire for hours, but the surgeon said that it definitely wasn’t the case and it was probably just seconds… she went up, is the only way I know how to describe it… it was a spark and she screamed out for me.”
“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,” Winkleman said.