When I was recently doing my Game Show Stars series, I was aware that I should include a female host. The role of women in game shows has definitely changed over the years. Back in the 80s and 90s, they were usually the assistant, doing little more than introducing the contestants, and showing off the prizes. But more and more women in recent years have taken on the main hosting role, and of course I have enjoyed some of them.
I have decided, just like I did with the male hosts, to pick someone who has hosted several shows, and has always been popular with viewers, including myself, so here’s who I’ve gone for. You might remember that a while ago I did piece about a newspaper that I found from 1995. One page featured an article about an up-and-coming TV host, and she definitely did fulfil her potential, remaining well-known over 25 years on (and it was nothing to do with her having a famous mother, honest).
The first time that I recall seeing Claudia Winkleman on TV was when she became the co-host of the final series of Talking Telephone Numbers in the late-90s. It was rather strange because I wasn’t familiar with her, and I wondered where Emma Forbes had gone (although she had already hosted a few shows by this point including ITV’s late-night Pyjama Party). After this, she never looked back really.
Going into the 2000s, another of her game shows that I enjoyed was Three’s A Crowd, a short-lived “dating game with a twist”, but then aren’t they all. This isn’t really a genre that I’m hugely interested in, but I did like this, and her commentary on what the current situation was definitely enhanced things. And there was also Fanorama, which came and went quietly on E4, but again was a rather enjoyable format.
And during all of this, she continued to host several other non-game shows, including Liquid News. In more recent years, she has gone on to be one of the hosts of Strictly Come Dancing, a show that I have never really had that much interest in, and its continued success does surprise me, but it is good to know that she is still an in demand host. And she did it all with her hair over her eyes, which makes it even more impressive.