BAFTA TV Awards 2023: Claudia Winkleman steals the show with hilarious acceptance speech

Claudia Winkleman BAFTAs

Claudia Winkleman and TV classic The Traitors won big at the 2023 TV BAFTAs – and the crowning glory was the host’s iconic speech.

The Traitors – the murderous gameshow about lies, sleuthing and deception – became an instant cultural touchstone when it debuted on BBC One towards the end of last year.

We got sweary elder lesbian Andrea, Mama Dragon Amanda, perpetually tearful Theo and Aaron’s (very tight) trousers on our TV screens for four weeks, which treated us to meme after hilarious meme right up to the thrilling finale.

Viewers will know, of course, that a large part of the show’s popularity was down to host Claudia Winkleman. In every episode, she appeared with her trademark vision-obscuring fringe and raccoon-chic eyeliner to announce a murder, chair a challenge or pace ominously around the table while Maddie flung accusations at her fellow castmates.

It seems that the powers-that-be at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts thought the same.

The Traitors and Claudia Winkleman were handed two BAFTAs at the 2023 iteration of the TV event on Sunday (14 May) – one for best reality and constructed factual programme, and one for Winkleman herself, who snatched the best entertainment performance BAFTA for her role as host.

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Taking to the stage to accept the first award on behalf of the cast and crew, Winkleman, who was wearing a jacket emblazoned with the word “Faithful”, delivered an instantly iconic speech.

“I went, ‘OK, just to be clear, we’re going to Scotland, we’ve got some cloaks, we’re going to use the word murder, I’ve got a big rollneck and I’m holding a ceremonial pouch, are you OK with that?’ And they went ‘go for it’,” Winkleman recalled.

But Winkleman wasn’t done there. When she accepted her second BAFTA for best entertainment performance, the comedy ramped up to Jennifer Coolidge levels.

“Number one, I can’t cry because I’m wearing so much eyeliner,” she began.

“I want to say a massive thank you to BAFTA, to everyone that was in that room that went: ‘Yep, the orange one’.”

Winkleman then took a moment to thank the TV producers behind the show, before turning her attention to her family.

“To my husband, Chris, please can we have a dog, that’s in brackets. And to the three puffins at home – they’re not actual puffins. And to my mum and dad, this is for you, you can have it. Well, not really, but you can touch it.”

The Traitors has been renewed for a second season, with applications still open.

So whether you’re a faithful like Aaron, a traitor like the evil, evil Wilf, or simply “not sure” like Maddie, there’ll be more castle chaos courtesy of Winkleman on the way very soon.

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