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Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman has opened up about her genuine friendship with co-host Tess Daly, joking that all the pair talk about and bond over is “parenting and cheese.”

Claudia, who has starred alongside original host Tess since 2014, revealed: “We’re deep-down friends, joined forever.”

In a recent interview with The Observer, Claudia added: “We have such a laugh and we have each other’s backs.”

The mum-of-three, who first started out on the series’ sister show, It Takes Two, continued: “We mainly talk about parenting and cheese, even with five seconds before we go live. I love that woman.”

And when she asked how it felt to be part of a groundbreaking female on-screen partnership alongside Tess, who is mum to two daughters, Claudia said it just “feels right”.

She answered: “In fact, it’s a show run predominantly by women. Our director, Nikki Parsons, is a Bafta-winner. Most of our producers are female.”

Claudia continued: “We like men, they’re divine, but on Strictly all these brilliant women come together. It’s a privilege to be part of.”

The down-to-earth TV star also revealed her excitement about the new series, which features an all-star cast, including McFly’s Tom Fletcher and OK! columnist Judi Love.

Claudia said: “I love it all – the theme music, Dave Arch’s band, the fear. We wang on about how nervous the celebrities are, but we’re not exaggerating.”

“They sign up thinking, ‘Why not? My mum loves it and I’ve never had a spray tan.’ Suddenly they’re dancing live on TV and they’re terrified. That’s the hypnotic bit for me.”

Elsewhere, Tess has also been counting down the days until tonight’s much-anticipated launch show where the celebrities are partnered up with their professional dancers.

Posting a snap of her and Claudia on set of the show to her Instagram account, Tess wrote: “I’m SO excited.”

She added: “Can’t wait for another year of shenanigans with Claudia AND to see some of these incredible people hit the dance floor!”

Tess concluded by asking her followers: “The big question is, who are you most excited to see step into their dancing shoes?”

The class of Strictly 2021 also features former Bake Off winner John Whaite, EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and actor Greg Wise.

To read all latest news from the Strictly dance floor, sign up to OK! newsletters here.

Strictly Come Dancing starts tonight at 7.45pm on BBC One

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