Strictly's Claudia Winkleman is unrecognisable in throwback snaps before her 'orange' fake tan and trademark fringe

STRICTLY Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman looks unrecognisable in pics before she adopted her trademark fringe and orange tan.

The Strictly host, 48, is known for her bold fashion choices and distinct look, but it hasn't always been that way.

Vintage pics of the BBC star show her with lighter hair which is swept off her face.

The throwback photos also show the star embracing her "pasty" skin colour before she decided to wear "orange" fake tan regularly.

Claudia returned to hosting Strictly alongside Tess Daly last night and the show wouldn't be the same without her heavy black eyeliner and trademark look.

But she defended the iconic choice saying it was her "armour" that "desexualises" her.


"If you've got a fringe and been spraypainted, you're winning … it totally desexualises you," she said at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

"I don't want to be sexually attractive, I don't want to be cute or sexy. I want to be Yves in Lyons. It helps with ageing. My face is falling off … I don't care. I love getting old but I will still be the orange one with the fringe."

Claudia came up with her "mature student in Lyons called Yves who walked past a pirate fancy dress shop and picked up a few things" look when she was in her twenties.

She explained she keeps her look simple for a reason.

"I've got three pairs of the same black jeans, plain sweaters, a fringe, orange face, black eyes, white mouth like I've kissed a bottle of Tippex, and I'm good to go," the presenter said.

Claudia experimented with Botox only once in her life describing it as "incredibly painful".

She said it was pointless because, "you can't see anything because of the fringe."

But along with desexualising her, Claudia believed the distinct fringe has helped her land some sweet gigs, because that's what people remember her for.

"I genuinely think it's my fringe that's given me this career," she told the Irish Daily Mail.

"In work meetings, people would go 'What's her name? Weird, ditsy little d**khead, oh yeah, the one with the fringe' and that would help me get the job. Other than that, I don't have an appeal."

Claudia wrote for The Sun describing her first brush with fake tan after trying to change her "naturally pallid with a soft, blue-like tinge" skin colour.

"The truth is I am a massive fan of bright, carroty faces and limbs," she wrote

"I fell in love with looking like I’d washed my face in Minute Maid when I was 14. I tried my mum’s Ultra Glow. (A very Eighties product — think bright- orange powder in a pot.)"

She experimented with the Ultra Glow until she heard the call for lunch and ran downstairs.

"I entered the kitchen and everyone fell off their chairs screeching with laughter. You know George Hamilton? Yeah, double that. Then times it by 100," Claudia remembered.

"It didn’t put me off. I felt healthy, glamorous, like the girls in the ads, like the models on the beach in the Next catalogue. So shimmery, so dewy, so grown-up."

Since then she has not stopped trying to achieve "the glow" from old tea bags to gravy granules when "you’ve run out of blush".

"I’m like a plant that needs the sun . . . only I don’t need the real sun, just cream or spray or mousse that will slowly dye my skin," Claudia wrote.

Even though she loves her sun-kissed looked, Claude said her husband Kris Thykier hates it.

"My husband hates my tanning and likes me pale. I'm not even pale, I'm blue," she said.

"I like being orange – it puts a pep in my step."

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