The former Weakest Link host will make her debut at the helm of Countdown on Monday, becoming the gameshow’s first female presenter in its 39-year history.
Speaking to the Daily Star ahead of her first show, Anne explained she’d pleaded with Countdown producers to ensure that more women were featured as contestants on the show.
“It seemed to me that the majority of contestants were male,” she said. “I did say, ‘You have got to persuade women to come on’. It’s something I begged they did more of. We’ve now got many more female contestants.”
Sharing why she thinks Countdown has previously been so heavily dominated by male contestants, Anne suggested: “I suspect women don’t automatically think they’re brilliant at something. Whereas men do, even if they haven’t the foggiest idea what they’re doing.”
She added that because of the inclusion of more women, some upcoming episodes of Countdown excitingly feature “a female guest in Dictionary Corner and two female contestants”.
Anne’s predecessor Nick Hewer hosted his final episode of Countdown earlier this week, urging viewers to be “generous” to his replacement.
When the news of her Countdown role was announced in February, Anne vowed to “tone down the nastiness” with which she became synonymous during her time at The Weakest Link, adding a somewhat ominous: “Sort of.”
She later joked: “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 [Dent] and Rachel [Riley] 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 to make do with this old one.”