Claudia Winkleman has reportedly reached out to AJ Pritchard and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen after she suffered horrific burns in a terrifying accident.
The 49-year-old host of Strictly Come Dancing is thought to have got in touch with the professional dancer, who used to star alongside Claudia on Strictly, as the fire accident had echoes of what happened to her daughter in 2014, when she was eight.
Abbie, 23, has been left with third-degree burns across her body and she has needed three skins grafts so far, after a wine bottle exploded while she was filming with AJ.
Speaking to The Sun, a source said: ‘Claudia was horrified when she heard about the accident and reached out straight away to send her best wishes to AJ and Abbie.”
The source added that Claudia will always see AJ as part of the Strictly family, despite him quitting the BBC dance competition.
Claudia reportedly felt “it was her moral duty to rally around him, especially considered she has been through something similar.”
Her daughter Matilda suffered a fire trauma in 2014, when she suffered burns after her Halloween costume was set alight by a candle as she was trick or treating.
This has led it Claudia to becoming a staunch advocate for safety and regulations surrounding the material used in children’s fancy dress costumes.
Claudia first opened up about her daughter’s horror accident on BBC’s Watchdog programme in 2015.
The TV presenter described the horrific incident as “life changing”.
Claudia’s daughter suffered severe burns on her legs and their neighbour Jamie Poulton sustained second degree burns after he tried to put out the fire with his bare hands.
AJ has spoken about the ordeal his girlfriend has suffered, in an interview on ITV’s Lorraine.
With medics saying that Abbie is “healing fantastically”, AJ opened up about what happened: “The thing was, to turn a wine bottle into a vase. There’s a tutorial to just follow online and unfortunately it went horribly wrong.
“I think what’s really scary is that her clothes caught light, her hair caught light and it all happened so fast, yet felt like a lifetime of a scenario.”
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AJ recalled how he responded to the situation as Abbie was in flames: “When it happened, I think the most upsetting thing is seeing your loved one, someone you love, on fire and being, what felt like so helpless in such a moment.
“As soon as the fire on her body, on her hair, on her skin was out we covered her in damp towels, we called 999, we did everything we thought was the right thing to do and to get her to A&E as soon as possible.
“Thankfully, Curtis was here to help. Abbie was in shock, I was trying to keep Abbie calm, Curtis was trying to keep me calm and get us both to the hospital”
AJ continued: “And I think what was really overwhelming to me was as soon as I was handing her over to people that I knew were going to help, which were the nurses at Ealing Hospital, for me emotionally…
“I was just absolutely torn and being so calm and collected when it was happening, trying to go through all what was the right thing to do but then as soon as I handed her over I sat outside and I remember the night so vividly.”
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