Claudia Winkleman opens up about her daughter’s horrific Halloween burns

Eight-year-old Matilda’s costume caught fire


by Anna Lewis |
Published on

Claudia Winkleman has spoken for the first time about the serious burns her eight-year-old daughter suffered when her Halloween costume caught fire.

Matilda’s witch dress brushed against a candle at a neighbour’s house while she was trick-or-treating, causing the seriously flammable outfit to melt onto her skin.

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"I was talking to somebody, and then I just heard her scream," Claudia told BBC’s Watchdog.

"She just screamed 'Mummy' and I turned round and that was that, she was just on fire.

"We couldn't put her out," the Strictly Come Dancing presenter said. "Her tights had melted into her skin.

"She went up, is the only way I know how to describe it. It was not like fire I had seen before.

“Like if your shirt caught fire or anything I could put it out.

"It was the tights that... they came back to life.

"It was like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and then they come back.

“She was screaming, all the kids there were screaming.”

Life-changing

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Matilda has had to have several operations since the terrifying incident.

And now Claudia is calling for tougher fire safety laws on fancy dress outfits.

"I would like parents to - just on Halloween, just to think about what they're going to put their kids in because I didn't, and it cost us".

Asked if Matilda's injuries were life-threatening, Claudia replied: "It's life-changing but not life defining.

"It was definitely life-changing for me. I can't remember life before it.”

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