Anne Robinson stepping down as Countdown host: ‘It’s time for an older woman to take the reins’

Episodes with the former ‘Weakest Link’ presenter will air until summer

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 03 May 2022 08:44 BST
Anne Robinson discusses being made Countdown host

Anne Robinson is stepping down as the host of Channel 4 quiz show Countdown after one year, it has been announced.

Robinson, who took on the role in 2021, said: “I've had a blast hosting this wonderful show. And I stayed longer than I signed up for. Now it is time for an older woman to take the reins.

“I hope too I've encouraged TV bosses to realise that not all women at the wrong end of their seventies are in care homes playing bingo and watching conjuring tricks.”

Robinson joked that she can now do an anagram at “twice the speed” she was able to this time last year.

“But I have grandchildren, a large garden and a home in New York, all deserving more of my attention,” she said.

Channel 4 said Robinson, who recorded 265 Countdown episodes, would continue to appear in shows until the summer.

A show spokesperson said: “Quick-witted Anne has been a brilliant host on this iconic show.”

Rachel Riley, Anne Robinson and Susie Dent (Rachel Joseph/Channel 4) (PA Media)

Robinson followed in the footsteps of Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O'Connor, Jeff Stelling and Nick Hewer as the presenter of Countdown, which launched in 1982.

The former Weakest Link presenter joined mathematician Rachel Riley and lexicographer Susie Dent in an all female line-up on the daytime show, with her first instalment airing on 28 June.

Riley dismissed reports of a “feud” between her and Robinson in November last year, telling ITV's Lorraine: “You know not to believe tabloids. I think it is just you have got some women there now so they want to make something up.

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”I have seen all the headlines of the feuds escalating. I have been on maternity leave for about six to eight weeks or something.“

Of Robinson’s notoriously icy persona, Riley told host Lorraine Kelly: “[Robinson] is not the cuddliest person in the world. It is just a different show now. She is making it her own.

“She is getting stuff out of the contestants. Sometimes it is barbed, sometimes it is funny. She has got a different flavour.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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