Alexander Armstrong Reveals Which Much-Loved Quiz Show He Turned Down To Present Pointless

“It was a really tough call.”

Two of our favourite primetime quiz shows could have looked very different, it turns out.

Alexander Armstrong has revealed that he turned down one of the most-loved quizzes on telly so that he could host Pointless instead.

The 52-year-old star has presented the BBC quiz show since it debuted in 2009, but on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, he revealed that he seriously considered accepting an offer to helm another very popular teatime show.

Alexander Armstrong
Alexander Armstrong
David M. Benett via Getty Images

“I did turn down Countdown,” he said, revealing he was made the offer when Des O’Connor stepped down as host. “I took it very seriously, well it’s a job, I take everything seriously that I am offered.

“I felt Countdown was a very revered format and I got the sense that there wasn’t going to be a lot of leeway to muck about with it and Pointless is all mucking about really.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do both. Pointless was my little treat for saying no to Countdown, but it was a really tough call because they were such nice people and I love Countdown.”

He continued: “But I wanted to do something that was a little bit more… basically I had kind of stopped doing comedy by then and I wanted something that would have a bit of comedy in it.”

Jeff Stelling, Nick Hewer and Anne Robinson have since helmed the long-running letters and numbers game, which launched in 1982.

Alexander has filmed more than 1,300 episodes and nearly 30 series of Pointless alongside Richard Osman.

In April, Richard announced he was stepping back from hosting the show after almost 13 years to “concentrate on writing”.

Shortly afterwards he was rumoured to be replacing Anne Robinson as host of Countdown, but later gave three reasons why he wouldn’t be taking her seat on the Channel 4 show.


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