Claudia Winkleman calls The Traitors ‘problematic’ and reveals biggest issue with show

The Traitors presenter Claudia Winkleman has revealed her biggest issue with the show that she thinks is “problematic”.

The second series of the BBC’s hit reality show, where contestants must trick and deceive each other for the chance to win their share of up to £120,000, returned to screens earlier this month. In it, a group of Traitors have to choose a Faithful player to be “murdered” and eliminated from the show each night.

*Spoilers for the latest episode of The Traitors follows – you have been warned*

So far in the series, four of the five Faithful contestants who have been “murdered” – sent home – by the Traitors have been women. Meanwhile, the group of Traitors, who decide each murder, is entirely made up of men.

Winkleman, who is the tartan-wearing host of the show, has now admitted that the Traitors’ choice of murder victims is “problematic”.

Appearing on BBC’s Woman’s Hour on 17 January, Winkleman was asked why the all-male group of Traitors keep on sending women home and whether the series might have a problem with ageism, since only one contestant over the age of 45 remains.

The presenter, 52, said: “I would like to sit down and have quite a few conversations about it.

“I mean, lots of people haven’t and they’re listening now and they go ‘oh, this sounds all right’ so I’m not going to say any names, but yeah, it’s problematic,” she said.

Claudia Winkleman on ‘The Traitors’ (BBC/Studio Lambert/Llara Plaza)
Claudia Winkleman on ‘The Traitors’ (BBC/Studio Lambert/Llara Plaza)

“I don’t want to say anything because what if people haven’t watched?

“But then you’ll carry on watching and you will see. And that is all I can say.”

In the latest episode of The Traitors, the two remaining Traitor players – army engineer Harry and insurance broker Andrew – decided to recruit video director Ross.

During the programme, Winkleman made a comment to Harry and Andrew about the gender of their newest recruit.

Claudia Winkleman presenting ‘The Traitors’ (BBC/Studio Lambert/LLARA PLAZA)
Claudia Winkleman presenting ‘The Traitors’ (BBC/Studio Lambert/LLARA PLAZA)

“Another man?” she asked. “It’s like the olden days.”

Traitor Harry laughed while Andrew looked uncomfortable with Winkleman’s admission, but they concluded that it was part of the gameplay and they had “tactics” to stick to (they decided to recruit Ross as their scapegoat).

Claudia Winkleman asks the Traitors why they’ve chosen to recruit another man (BBC)
Claudia Winkleman asks the Traitors why they’ve chosen to recruit another man (BBC)

In the episode that aired the night before, the Traitors decided to murder mental health manager Charlie, who is a woman, while retired teacher Diane was their victim the night before.

Viewers have been reacting to Winkleman’s admission about the all-male Traitors group, with one person writing on Twitter/X: “Claudia CALLING OUT the traitors being all men honestly no other presenter in the UK is better.”

“Give Claudia Winkleman the BAFTA now,” wrote one person, as another added: “Love to see Claudia sticking it to the patriarchy.”

The Traitors returns on Wednesday (24 January), and the finale will air on BBC One and iPlayer on Friday (26 January) at 9pm.