The Strictly presenter, 47, who lives in London with her three children and film director husband Kris Thykier, is all about naps, bridge and gravity blankets
I plan my days around my kids, so I’m up early, cajoling them out of bed and getting them ready for school. There’s no morning coffee for me – I don’t like to be reliant on caffeine for energy – but I’ll occasionally have a decaf. I tend to make the breakfast: I do eggs and cereal, but, I should add, not on the same plate. There’s guaranteed to be HP sauce on the eggs as it’s quite big in our house, as is Marmite, which my eight-, 13- and 16-year-olds are strong believers in having on everything.
Post breakfast, it’s time for school, and if I’m not working like an ant I do the school drop off, but not for my eldest, who I embarrass daily, unintentionally of course – apparently, teenagers don’t want their hands held. Once I’ve dropped the younger two I’ll go home, and most days have some toast and read the papers with the BBC news on in the background. I speak to my best friend of 30 years daily and somehow we always find something to yammer on about.
I count my lucky stars that, unlike some of my highly accomplished friends, I don’t have to go to an office every day and that I can work my schedule around my kids – although my husband is super hands-on too and steps in any time I can’t be there.
On any one day I could be doing anything from meetings with directors, photo shoots or interviews. If I’m not working I try to fit in a 45-minute nap, ideally at midday so I can still sleep at night. With work days being super-full-on, I try to get some extra zzzs where I can – every little helps. A day with two mini naps is better than Christmas, but is rare. I have even been known to tell the kids I’m going to run them a bath and then get in their bed for a six-minute snooze. Total magic.
Post nap, I might go through the new arrivals on my favourite online stores, Asos, Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion. I don’t tend to buy anything, I just really enjoy looking at all the beautiful shiny things. Or I can be found at a local eatery lunching with friends: I’m partial to salad and chips – which is a perfectly balanced meal, in my opinion.
Most days you’re likely to overhear me going on about Christmas. I’m totally obsessed – always have been. It’s not so much Christmas-present chat; I like to discuss what wrapping paper to use, what cheeses to order, can I get away with a house full of fake snow, and how early I can start the fanfare.
Before I know it, school is done and we all head out to pick up our kids. Mine don’t do after-school activities; I don’t believe in them. So it’s back home for homework and hugs from Mum. I’ll rustle up some dinner – I’m not the best cook, but I try. I bathe with my youngest and then get her into bed – the other two go later. Currently my 13-year-old and I are watching Gossip Girl. Then, when she’s in bed, my husband and I usually end up boring our eldest with political documentaries. We’re real homebodies and we’ve just discovered the wonders of a gravity blanket – so you’ll most likely find my husband and me underneath that, or playing bridge, which we love.
Claudia's favourite things
Some of my favourite family time has been spent at Babington House Members Club and Hotel in Somerset.
We started playing bridge in our 20s and regularly play with bridge partners. It’s great brain training. Playing Cards Twin Pack, £55, Smythson.
I’m sure I get employed for my fringe and I’m loving how clean and shiny Suprême Purify & Volume Micellar Cleanser Pre-Wash helps make my hair. £4.99, Head & Shoulders, exclusively at Superdrug.
Mac Satin Lipstick in FleshPot is my signature lipstick: I keep one in all my handbags to make sure I don’t leave the house without it. £17.50, Mac.
Kris takes the kids to London Zoo regularly. They are big fans, although my daughter is usually more interested in the common pigeon than other animals.
I like the idea of a healthier chocolate bar that’s as yummy, if not more so, as a regular one. Ombar Raw Chocolate, from £1.99.
I’m a big fan of It’s Not OK To Feel Blue (and Other Lies), a collection of essays about people’s experiences of mental-health problems and the stigma surrounding the issue.
I’m known for my long-standing love of black liner, and I keep a kajal stick in my pocket at all times. I’ve become so adept at applying it that I don’t even need a mirror. £14, Lord & Berry.
I can’t get enough of the Five Guys cheeseburger, which I eat with a hefty dose of brown sauce (fiveguys.co.uk)
Strictly Come Dancing, Saturdays and Sundays, BBC1