Claudia Winkleman says psychologist friend 'saved' her after daughter's burn incident

Claudia Winkleman joins Patron of Centrepoint, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, young people supported by Centrepoint, and the charity's staff, ambassadors and supporters to mark the charity's 50 years of tackling youth homelessness, at The Roundhouse on November 13, 2019 in London, England. Duran Duran, Rita Ora and Hussain Manawer all performed at the gala.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Centrepoint)

Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman has divulged that her friend and noted child psychologist Tanya Byron "saved" her after her young daughter suffered serious burns when a costume she was wearing went up in flames.

The incident, which occurred on Halloween 2014, saw Winkleman's then eight-year-old daughter Matilda set on fire when her flammable witch's outfit was ignited by a candle she had brushed past.

It had a serious affect on Winkleman, who turned to Byron for help.

"It's my daughter's story. But I just knew I would need Tanya. I did [need her] and she put me back together again, let's just say that," Winkleman told The Times in a joint interview with Byron.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Dr Tanya Byron attends British Academy Children's Awards at London Hilton on November 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

"I am incredibly lucky that I happen to have an incredible friend who happens to be in my eyes the world's best clinical psychologist and I was facing something that felt ... um ... difficult."

She went on: "I don't want to use big words because I have to be respectful to [my daughter] and the rest of the family, but Tanya genuinely, well, she saved me."

Winkleman added that Byron had been there to help when her family were "blindsided" by the ordeal.

The accident saw Matilda suffer bad burns as the outfit could not be extinguished with ease, with Winkleman describing it "like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and they come back".

The mother-of-three subsequently campaigned against highly flammable Halloween costumes and warned other parents about the dangers they pose.

Winkleman's revelation comes a she and Byron are set to release a 12-episode podcast, How Did We Get Here, which looks at the trials and tribulations faced by real people.

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