Anne Robinson announced as new Countdown host – the first woman to land the job

ANNE Robinson has been announced as the new host of Countdown becoming the first woman to land the job.

Previous host Nick Hewer, 76, quit the show in December after fronting the teatime programme for a decade.

Former Weakest Link host Anne's name was the answer to a Countdown-style conundrum on today's Steph's Packed Lunch on Channel 4.

The 76-year-old former journalist's long telly career includes time as host of Points of View and Watchdog.

In 2000 she became a game show phenomenon as the host of The Weakest Link, which spawned 70 versions around the world.

Meanwhile Nick, who had been taking a break from the series while he shielded from coronavirus, previously revealed he would not return for another series.

He paid tribute to his co-stars Rachel Riley and Susie Dent in an emotional post on Twitter where he wished good luck to the next host.

The veteran host was replaced by Colin Murray while he stayed at home during the pandemic.

Nick tweeted: "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.

"I’ve decided it’s a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year.

"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.

"But let me now take the opportunity to say that it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to take the helm of Countdown, first broadcast back in 1982 and still a Guinness record holder.

"Although I’ll be on your screens well into 2021, let me thank the broadcasters Channel 4, the truly dedicated and unwaveringly professional studio crew and production staff at ITV Studios who make the programmes, all 250 or so a year.

"My wonderfully talented co-hosts Susie Dent and Rachel Riley but above all, the quirky genius of producer Damian Eadie, who never ceases to amuse and who always demands the best of us.

"And a sincere thanks to our loyal viewers and of course the legions of contestants who battle their brains out for the chance of carrying off the Richard Whiteley Trophy or a priceless teapot.

"And so, to whoever takes my seat, I wish you every success and hope that you have as much fun and reward as I’ve enjoyed."

Nick was bombarded with messages of thanks from fans of the show – and former Countdown stars.

One wrote: "As one of the many contestants on your watch, thank you for making my experience so special and generally for helming with such grace and good humour. You will be missed."

Another tweeted: "Will miss seeing you on-screen Nick- you've had a great run, and I hope the next presenter is similarly dry and witty!"


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