The Traitors: Claudia Winkleman explains how she chose this year’s Traitors

Claudia Winkleman in a promotional image for the Traitors season two.

The Traitors is back on UK screens and camper than ever, and it’s not just thanks to host Claudia Winkleman’s jaw-dropping turtlenecks and gorgeous array of fingerless gloves.

No, The Traitors is camp through and through: just three episodes of this year’s much-anticipated second season have dropped, and fans have already been served drama, twists and chaotic contestants – including a lucky few who have already been dubbed “mother” by the LGBTQ+ community, or, rather, gay men in their late twenties or early thirties.

As it stands, the instantly suspicious Diane, Lancashire lass Sonja and clairvoyant Tracey are, without a doubt, mother.

In case you’ve been living under a rock since the first season aired in 2022, The Traitors sees 22 strangers meet at a Scottish castle, where they compete in a series of challenges to win a stash of prize money.

A few of them are selected as “Traitors” by Winkleman, and will, night after night, secretly “murder” their fellow contestants, dubbed Faithfuls.

During each episode, the faithfuls vote to banish one member of the group, who they suspect of being a traitor, because if a traitor makes it all the way to the finale, they steal all the prize money.

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In Wednesday night’s first episode (3 January), Winkleman selected business manager Paul, army engineer Harry and events co-ordinator Ash as the traitors. But why?

How does Claudia Winkleman choose the Traitors?

In a recent Q&A, Winkleman explained that she chooses a traitor based on how “passionate” they are about being given the deceptive role.

At the beginning of each series, the contestants chat with Winkleman and tell her whether they would rather be traitors or faithfuls, before she ultimately decides their roles.

“You can’t show all of those chats because otherwise that would be hours, but I do talk to them for a long time,” Winkleman said. 

“Paul was adamant and I mean adamant in the same way that Alyssa in series one she was like: ‘Give it to me, I have come here for this title and you’ve got to give it to me’.

“Harry, because he’s compelling and I thought would play a good game because he did that whole, ‘you want to kiss me or you’re gonna punch me, I’m going to pretend to be an idiot’. You’re not an idiot so I look forward to watching what happens.

“Ash because she really, really, really wants to win the money and wants to be a traitor.”

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re currently waiting to watch the second episode, don’t read on.

At the beginning of episode two, it’s revealed that gay veterinary nurse Miles was selected by Paul, Harry and Ash, not Winkleman, to join them in becoming a traitor.

Miles is an LGBTQ+ contestant in season two of The Traitors. (
Gay contestant Miles was selected as a traitor. (BBC)

“They felt like a good trio and I wasn’t in control of the fourth which, you know, I’m not a control freak or anything, but I was angry about it,” the host joked.

However, she added that she’s happy with those who are in the sneaky roles because they each have ample amounts of “charm”, which will help them to convince the others that they are faithfuls.

“All three of them, in their own very different ways could charm anybody,” she added.

The first three episodes of The Traitors season two are streaming now on BBC iPlayer and the series will continue airing on BBC One on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 9pm.