Nick Hewer to stand down as Countdown host

Channel 4’s longest running quiz is searching for a new anchor.

“Nick has been a fantastic host and we wish him all the best. The identity of the new host will be revealed in due course.” – a Channel 4 spokesperson speaking to ATV Today

Nick Hewer revealed earlier today on social media that he had decided to depart the game show after a decade with the production.

“Delighted to be back in the Countdown studio after another enforced lockdown, BUT this latest lockdown has given me an opportunity to consider my future life and I’ve decided it’s a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year.” – Nick Hewer

Carol Vorderman and Richard Whiteley

Carol Vorderman and Des Lynam

Countdown was the first programme to be broadcast on Channel 4 in 1982 hosted by Richard Whiteley. Following his death in 2005 the show has had a number of hosts including Des Lynam, the recently departed Des O’Connor and Jeff Stelling.

Co-host Carol Vorderman, who also assisted from the beginning, left in 2008. She was replaced with Rachel Riley. The series was originally produced by ITV Yorkshire in Leeds, switching to ITV Granada in 2009. It more recently switched to the Media City Studios in Salford.

Des O’Connor and Carol Vorderman

Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley

The words and numbers game began on French television in 1965, Des chiffres et des lettres while Yorkshire Television experimented with the format locally in their ITV region as Calendar Countdown before pitching the idea to the soon to launch Channel 4. It became a staple part of the afternoon schedules, with its 30-minute slot extended to 45 minutes in 2001.

Nick is currently the second longest serving host after Richard Whiteley. Hewer became a noted ‘television personality’ thanks to his advisor role on BBC One’s The Apprentice.

“As someone in his 77th year who will be in his 10th year hosting the great British institution that is Countdown, I think it’s time to smell the flowers and get a dog.” – Nick Hewer

Countdown is produced by ITV Studios for Channel 4.

Rachel Riley, Nick Hewer and Susie Dent

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