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Hugh Bonneville says Claudia Winkleman ‘delighted’ by W1A cameo

W1A Hugh Bonneville
(Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes)

Hugh Bonneville has revealed how Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman was thrilled by her cameo in W1A, which returns for a new series on BBC2 tonight

Hugh Bonneville has revealed how Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman was thrilled by her cameo in W1A, which returns for a new series on BBC2 tonight

What’s the story?

Prepare for more BBC bureaucracy and terrible PR pitches as sitcom W1A returns.

It’s business as usual, by which we mean, ‘yes men’ (and women) sitting in meeting rooms doing their best to avoid taking on any work…

Here, star Hugh Bonneville, 53, reveals what’s in store for the BBC’s beleaguered Head of Values, Ian Fletcher...

TVT: Are there any celebrity cameos to look forward to this year?

HB: Yes, Brian Cox, Sophie Raworth and Jeremy Paxman have been in. Claudia Winkleman has a part, too, she was a complete delight because she loves the series, and in between takes she just kept saying, “I can’t believe I’m in my favourite show!” She has quite a complicated storyline as the Head of Daytime Factuality tries to commission a programme for her.

Claudia Winkleman

While Claudia Winkleman joins Tess to co-host the Strictly Results show on Sunday evenings (Image credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Claudia is 'delighted' by her upcoming cameo in W1A

TVT: What’s the worst crisis facing Ian Fletcher this year?

HB: There’s a former Premier League footballer who likes to cross-dress and is also very keen to be a pundit on Match of the Day. When the BBC say no, he assumes it’s because they feel awkward about the cross-dressing, but actually he’s just an incredibly boring presenter. Ian spends the entire episode bending over backwards trying to justify it.

TVT: Is PR guru Siobhan Sharpe (Jessica Hynes) back?

HB: Yes! Siobhan’s company Perfect Curve has been bought out by a bigger company called Fun Media. It’s a largely Dutch organisation that has some great new ideas ‘going forward’.

TVT: It’s been two-and-a-half years since the last series. Why so long?

HB: Well, we had all cleared our diaries to shoot it last year and I was then told my availability was the reason it hadn’t been recommissioned! [laughs] Of course, it had nothing to do with the BBC being nervous about charter renewal…

TVT: Ian oversaw the London Olympics in Twenty Twelve, and now the BBC. Where might he work next?

HB: I did think Ian could step into American politics, but now that’s become so absurd that you really couldn’t go there! Maybe he’ll help another city with their Olympic bid.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!