The Word On... Countdown, Channel 4

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The Independent Culture

"Jeff [Stelling] is warm, inviting and sublime when it comes to jokes that make you groan with glee ('Just the one "I" there... can't see a lot with that'). The two Dessies who came before were merely keeping the seat warm for a man seemingly destined for this job. It's clear that 'Countdown' will thrive under Stelling." -

"Sky Sports presenter Jeff kept trying to steady his nerves by bringing the conversation round to football at every opportunity – which is perfectly acceptable in my book, but may irritate some of the show's more diehard fans. And Rachel [Riley] initially had the nervous gait of a head girl who's been asked to give a presentation in assembly. But she soon warmed up – although there was one hilarious moment when she drew a plus sign instead of a minus. What a berk!" - Jane Murphy,

"Jeff Stelling's cartoon teeth and frequent references to football were a bit annoying, but he has a good manner about him. Witty, but I'm not sure his brand of blokey chit-chat will go down well with the more, shall we say, oddball contestants who avoid Sky Sports like the plague. Rachel didn't fare quite so well (owing to a lack of TV experience, no doubt) but she certainly wasn't disastrous." - Dan Owen,