Claudia Winkleman: I believe I was born with a fringe.

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Claudia Winkleman: I believe I was born with a fringe.

You’d think Claudia Winkleman, with her cheerful personality, inexhaustible enthusiasm, and wisecracking ways, would take to homeschooling like a duck to water. You’d be mistaken.

“I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I was a lousy homeschooler. On a video conversation, the mother of three exclaims, “Terrible!” “It’s awful for my nine-year-old. The other two figured it out; they could handle it on their own.”

The TV and radio presenter devised a devious strategy to convince husband Kris Thykier to manage teaching while she worked on a secret project of her own at home in London with their children Jake (18), Matilda (15), and Arthur (9).

“I realized I’d have to find a way to persuade my spouse to help me with this.” ‘You’ll be in charge of double science,’ I told him. I’m going upstairs to try to finish a chapter of a book.’ And I didn’t think anyone would want it [the book], but Harper Collins did.”

The result was the New York Times best-seller Quite, in which Winkleman – who began her career as a travel journalist before transitioning to television – wrote about “everything.” Fringes, black boots, kids leaving home, hair, fringe care, eyeliner… I wrote about it all. That sort of thing.”

Did the Strictly Come Dancing star, who also hosts a BBC Radio 2 show on Saturdays, have to trim her famed fringe herself when salons were closed?

“I did,” says the speaker. It went horribly wrong – terribly dreadfully wrong. Because I am both impatient and extremely short-sighted. But I did an online tutorial with [hairdresser]George Northwood, who’s amazing, and he talked me through it.”

It’s hard to imagine the 49-year-old without her trademark tresses, and even she struggles to recall life without those face-framing locks.

“I think I came out of the womb with a fringe,” she says, excitedly explaining why that jet black curtain of hair is so useful: “If you’re on the school run, if you look disgusting, if you are knackered, if you have lost your house keys, if you are in. (This is a brief piece.)

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