Claudia Winkleman says men on The Traitors were ‘threatened’ by smart women

The Traitors host Claudia Winkleman said she believes male contestants were consecutively chosen to become traitors on the hit BBC show because they were “threatened” by smart women.

The TV star has fronted two series of the tense game show, in which people try to identify who among them are “Faithfuls” and “Traitors”, since it launched at the end of 2022.

In the second series of the show male contestants Paul Gorton and Harry Clark, and female contestant Ash Bibi, were initially picked to be traitors out of the line-up, before Bibi was banished and a trio of men succeeded her.

Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman hosts The Traitors on BBC One (Jonathan Hordle/PA)

“Another man, good, it’s like the olden days,” Winkleman, 52, told the contestants during the January 2024 episode.

She has since spoken to the Guardian about commenting on the contestants repeatedly recruiting men.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done but I just had to say it,” she said.

“I was like ‘Come on, boys, what you need here is a really smart woman’, but they were threatened by them.”

British Army engineer Clark took home the whole £95,150 prize pot after he deceived disability model Mollie Pearce into thinking he was a fellow Faithful when he was really a Traitor.

The Traitors
Harry Clark won the BBC series (Mark Mainz/Studio Lambert/BBC/PA)

Winkleman previously said she had originally turned down the offer to host, but changed her mind after watching the Dutch version of the hit reality show.

She also presents Strictly Come Dancing alongside Tess Daly, and will return to screens on the second series of The Piano on Channel 4, alongside renowned pianist Lang Lang and pop star Mika, as judges.

In the debut series Winkleman met talented pianists at train stations across the country before they played to passers-by, while the judges secretly watched.

The Piano
Claudia Winkleman, pop star Mika, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang will appear in the second series of The Piano (Channel 4/PA)

When asked if she was tempted to learn a musical instrument, Winkleman told the Guardian: “Absolutely not.

“I’m so unmusical, I once sang to Mika and Lang Lang and they made me sign a piece of paper promising I’d never do it again.”

The first series culminated in a concert at the Royal Festival Hall featuring performances from Lang Lang, Mika and the four chosen finalists.

A visually impaired 13-year-old girl named Lucy won the competition, having impressed the judges with her rendition of Debussy’s Arabesque.