She will be the sixth presenter to be permanent host of Countdown since its debut in 1982, and is the first woman to hold the job.
The news of Anne taking over Countdown was announced during Monday afternoon’s edition of the Channel 4 daytime show, Steph’s Packed Lunch.
During her interview with presenter Steph McGovern, Anne vowed to “tone down the nastiness” with which she became synonymous on The Weakest Link, adding a slightly 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 make do with this old one.”
Anne added: “Three Clever Girls Do Countdown! Don’t you love the sound of that?
“I am a crossword nut so the Countdown’s conundrums I can make sense of. But the adding up and taking away – I can’t go much further than working out the fee once my agent takes his cut.”
Anne’s past TV credits include The Weakest Link, the consumer affairs series Watchdog and the interactive BBC quiz show Test The Nation.
Former Apprentice aide Nick has hosted Countdown for almost a decade, and announced that he was stepping down towards the end of last year.
He said in a statement: “This latest lockdown has given me an opportunity to consider my future life and 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.”
Nick took time out from the show in 2020 due to lockdown, during which time former Radio 1 DJ Colin Murray temporarily stood in for him.
Countdown has previously been hosted by Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O’Connor and Jeff Stelling, prior to Nick’s appointment.