Channel 4 has denied that its long running game show Countdown was set to be axed as part of an overhaul later this year.

The show has suffered falling ratings in recent years, made worse by the channel’s decision to move the programme from 3.10pm to 2.40pm last year. Currently hosted by Apprentice sidekick Nick Hewer, the show has seen figures drop to under 400,000 viewers.

Channel 4 has told ATV Today that there is “no truth” in the rumours that the show is to be axed and that is safe until the end of 2014.

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, 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. Countdown is produced by ITV Studios for Channel 4. The series was originally produced by ITV Yorkshire in Leeds, it more recently switched to the Media City Studios in Salford.

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