First female host of Channel 4 classic Countdown revealed

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Following the departure of Nick Hewer, the sixth host of Channel 4's iconic daytime show will be Anne Robinson, who becomes the first woman to fill the role.

Formerly the stern face of The Weakest Link, Robinson was announced live on Channel 4 at lunchtime on February 15th as joining the show alongside existing figures Rachel Riley and Susie Dent - forming, as she called it, "Three Clever Girls Do Countdown".

Countdown is filmed at dock10, and was the first programme to be broadcast on Channel 4 when it launched in 1982.

Merseyside-born Robinson joins Countdown in the summer, and once appeared in Countdown’s Dictionary Corner for a week in 1987, when it was presented by Richard Whiteley, who hosted the show for more than 22 years.

Anne Robinson said: “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.

“Three Clever Girls Do Countdown! Don’t you love the sound of that?

“I am a crossword nut so the Countdown’s conundrums I can make sense of. But the adding up and taking away - I can't go much further than working out the fee once my agent takes his cut.”

“I was in awe of the great Richard Whiteley. I think I only said 'good afternoon', and 'goodbye'. Who thought I’d have the chance to follow in his giant footsteps?”

Channel 4's Head of Daytime, Jo Street, said: "I am a huge fan of Anne and her quick wit. I am immensely proud that this ferociously smart woman will be joining the show as host alongside the brilliant Rachel Riley and Susie Dent."

Countdown Executive Producer, Peter Gwyn, said: "This is a very exciting moment in Countdown's long history, and I know viewers will relish Anne’s unique style at the helm of this much-loved institution.”