Claudia Winkleman hosted the first series of BBC gameshow The Traitors but she’s revealed that she originally declined to present the series.

The Strictly Come Dancing presenter will return to hosting duties for the second series in January with 22 contestants battling it out at a Scottish castle in the psychological game show that gripped viewers last year.

In the first trailer for season two, Winkleman promised an “ultimate game of treachery for a life-changing cash prize”.

Last year the 51- year-old won the Bafta for best entertainment performance while the show won best reality and constructed factual programme.

Why did Claudia Winkleman originally say no to hosting The Traitors?

Claudia Winkleman originally said no to hosting the show so she could prioritise her family life.

“I wasn’t keen on leaving home for three weeks, so initially I said, ‘I don’t think so, but thank you’,” Winkleman told the Radio Times.

“They then sent me the original Dutch version. I watched the first four episodes in one sitting, told the kids to make their own tea and then begged the BBC to let me be part of it.

Cotswold Journal: Claudia Winkleman will host the second series of The TraitorsClaudia Winkleman will host the second series of The Traitors (Image: Ian West/PA)

“I’m used to being a cheerleader and a helper, so it felt very odd being so cold. By the end I couldn’t help but show how much I cared about them, but at the beginning, yes, it was deeply weird.

“The producers had to really persuade me to send two people home as soon as they arrived. I couldn’t really cope with it, but they said, ‘This sets the tone, don’t be wet’. So off they went.”

How to watch The Traitors series two

During the first series, players were made secret traitors and were tasked with “murdering” faithful contestants, while the latter had to root out the traitors and “banish” them.

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Five finalists were reduced to the last three who split the £100,000 prize between them.

The new series will be available to watch on Wednesday, January 3 on BBC One at 9pm.

It will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.