Claudia Winkleman reportedly reached out to fellow Strictly star AJ Pritchard and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen following their terrifying fire accident.
The TV host, 49, whose daughter Matilda suffered horrific burns in 2014, is thought to have sent her support to the couple as soon as she heard about Abbie’s injuries.
The professional dancer, 23, was left with third-degree burns and needing three skin grafts after a video she was filming with AJ, 26, went horribly wrong and saw a wine bottle explode in January.
Showing support: Claudia Winkleman reportedly reached out to fellow Strictly star AJ Pritchard and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen following their terrifying fire accident
A source told The Sun: ‘Claudia was horrified when she heard about the accident and reached out straight away to send her best wishes to AJ and Abbie.
‘While they may no longer work together, as far as Claudia’s concerned, AJ will always be part of the Strictly family and it was her moral duty to rally around him, especially considered she has been through something similar.
‘Claudia knows only too well the trauma both Abbie and AJ have suffered and how long the road to recovery, both physically and mentally will be.’
MailOnline has contacted Claudia, AJ and Abbie’s representatives for comment.
Awful: Abbie, 23, was left with third-degree burns and needing three skin grafts after a video she was filming with AJ, 26, went horribly wrong and saw a wine bottle explode in January
In 2014, Claudia’s daughter Matilda, then eight years old, suffered severe burns after her Halloween costume brushed a candle and set her on fire while trick or treating.
Claudia has since become a staunch campaigner for the safety and regulations around the materials used in children’s fancy dress costumes
She first spoke about her daughter’s ordeal on BBC’s Watchdog programme in 2015, describing the devastating incident as ‘life changing’ and adding: ‘I can’t remember life before it.’
Matilda suffered severe burns on her legs with neighbour Jamie Poulton sustaining second degree burns after he tried to put her out with his bare hands.
Speaking at the time, Jamie said Matilda’s costume turned into a ‘crackling ball of flame’. ‘All the children were wearing the same kit,’ he told The Daily Mail. ‘It was like a potential horror film in front of me, because they were all going to go.
Horrific: In 2014, Claudia’s daughter Matilda, then eight years old, suffered severe burns after her Halloween costume brushed a candle and set her on fire while trick or treating (pictured with her dad Kris Thykier in 2013)
‘This material just keeps reigniting and re-burning. And it is sticky, so it melts on the skin. It doesn’t cinder. It remains hot. It was horrific to be honest.’
AJ has also spoken candidly about the trauma of Abbie’s accident and had to fight back tears as he detailed the horrific ordeal of seeing ‘someone he loves on fire’.
The former Strictly professional described how a YouTube video went ‘horribly wrong’ and his girlfriend ‘caught alight so fast’, while trying to forge a vase out of a wine bottle bottle using fire.
AJ told Lorraine on Tuesday how he sat outside the hospital all night after being banned from entering due to Covid restrictions, after rushing his partner to A&E following the terrifying accident.
Since the incident – which happened on January 19 – Abbie has undergone three skin grafts and doctors are unsure about what exactly her recovery will look like.
Harrowing: AJ fought back tears as he detailed the horrific ordeal of seeing ‘someone he loves on fire’ while appearing on This Morning on Tuesday
During the interview on Tuesday, AJ admitted the possibility of laser treatment to help heal certain areas has been discussed.
But for now, medics have dubbed her Super Abbie because she is ‘healing fantastically’, following the harrowing ordeal.
Speaking of the incident, AJ went on: ‘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.’
On how he responded to the situation, AJ said: ‘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.
Recovering: Abbie suffered third-degree burns and needed three skin grafts following the accident but is said to be healing well
‘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.’
Abbie broke her silence on the matter on Sunday and told fans she’s ‘OK’ following the accident on January 19.
As well as reassuring followers she’s recovering in her Instagram message, Abbie warned others to be ‘careful’ after a YouTube tutorial went terribly wrong.
She also thanked staff at the Chelsea & Westminster burns unit for their ‘incredible care and treatment’ as she continues to improve seven weeks after her ordeal.
Statement: Abbie broke her silence on the matter on Sunday and told fans she’s ‘OK’ following the accident on January 19
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