Entertainment & Arts

Strictly co-host Claudia Winkleman among 'most powerful women' in TV

Claudia Winkleman
Image caption Claudia Winkleman also hosts The Great British Sewing Bee

Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman has been named on a list of TV's most influential women, but co-presenter Tess Daly is absent.

The 30-strong list, compiled by an expert Radio Times panel, includes a host of prominent figures both on and off-screen.

Award-winning actresses Sheridan Smith and Olivia Colman were among those making the cut.

TV executives including Jay Hunt were deemed powerful behind the scenes.

The list was not put in any particular order. It also featured mother and daughter Sue and Beryl Vertue - producer and executive producer of the phenomenally successful TV series Sherlock.

Screenwriters Abi Morgan, creator of Sex Traffic and The Hour, and Heidi Thomas, who adapted period pieces Cranford and Call The Midwife, also feature among the "power 30".

Well-established figures including Victoria Wood, Julie Walters and Joanna Lumley also appear on the list, and are joined by more recent stars including Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican.

Winkleman was nominated on the list by broadcaster Emma Freud for being "a hugely clever Cambridge graduate masquerading as a TV bunny".

Image caption Sarah Millican and Miranda Hart were both inducted into the power list

"She has a massive heart and knows how unimportant her work is, which is why she is so important in TV," she added.

Winkleman, the presenter of the BBC's Film 2014 and The Great British Sewing Bee, is about to join Tess Daly as co-host of Strictly Come Dancing following Sir Bruce Forsyth's departure.

Radio Times TV editor Alison Graham, who helped to draw up the list, said women in TV have been thrust back into the spotlight by the duo anchoring one of the biggest shows on the small screen.

"Light entertainment, which has limped along for decades behind the skirts of grinning quiz-show hostesses who existed only to make the men look good, at last comes, blinking, into the spotlight as Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly host Strictly Come Dancing.

"Yes, two women, hosting one of the biggest shows on television, all by themselves!" she said.

Other panellists who helped to compile the power list included Woman's Hour host Jenni Murray and Pointless co-presenter Richard Osman.

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