The countdown is on for the debut of a new host…
Anne Robinson takes up the Countdown reins from Monday 28 June on Channel 4, replacing Nick Heweron the long running words and numbers game show.
“I am beyond thrilled to be joining Countdown. The show is almost as old as I am and just as historic. I am particularly excited to be working alongside the Show’s two other formidable women. Worryingly, Susie and Rachel are not only very smart but younger, prettier and thinner than me. Sadly, there’s no time for another face lift so I’ll have make do with this old one.” – Anne Robinson
Anne is the first female host of Channel 4’s longest running series, following names such as Des Lynam, Jeff Stelling, Des O’Connor and the original anchor Richard Whiteley. Robinson will join numbers whizz Rachel Riley and wordsmith Susie Dent, where together they will be the TV programme’s formidable female trio, every weekday at 2.10pm.
Rachel Riley and Anne Robinson
On her new all-female team, Anne Robinson, who will become Countdown’s sixth host said: “Three Girls Do Countdown – who wouldn’t want to watch?”
Anne is a journalist and broadcaster best known as the indomitable host of BBC quiz The Weakest Link which she presented both in the UK and in America. Her put downs to contestants on the show earned her the nickname ‘Queen of Mean’.
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. He became a noted ‘television personality’ thanks to his advisor role on BBC One’s The Apprentice.
“It’s been really fun watching Anne very quickly find her feet in the Countdown studio and seeing the contestants in the new groove with her. She’s not shy of asking them funny questions and the responses have ranged from going into their own comedy routines to not looking directly at her and hoping she doesn’t see them – it’s been very lively!”
Anne and Susie Dent
“I’m so pleased to be able to work with Anne again. She has been a heroine of mine ever since she gently rescued me from an embarrassing moment on my first bit of live TV. With her flair and wit, she’s going to be a wonderful addition to the Countdown team.”
Countdown, which airs every weekday at 2.10pm, is filmed in Salford. It was the first programme to broadcast on Channel 4, when the channel launched 39 years ago, in November 1982, making it one of the longest running quiz shows in the world. Originally produced by Yorkshire Television in Leeds it is now produced by Lifted Entertainment (a rebranded ITV Studios Entertainment label). The programme moved to Manchester from Leeds in 2009 and relocated to Salford in 2012.
The format sees a mix of letters rounds and a numbers rounds and a final “Conundrum” puzzle. With the exception of the Conundrum, the contestants swap control after every round so that each of them has control for five letters rounds and two numbers rounds. The one with the highest score at the end goes on to attempt to thrash another player.
Countdown, weekdays at 2.10pm on Channel 4