15/10/2019 00:01 BST

Countdown’s Nick Hewer Reveals He Was Asked To Do Strictly This Year - And The Reason He Said No

We think he'd look rather lovely in a sequinned shirt.

As a former adviser to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice, Nick Hewer is used to high pressure environments, so you’d think he’d take Strictly Come Dancing in his stride.

But we won’t be seeing the Countdown host take to the dance floor anytime soon - and yes, he has been asked.

Nick, who presents the Channel 4 word and numbers show with former Strictly star Rachel Riley, has revealed he was asked to take part in this year’s series.

Channel 4
Nick Hewer took over as host of Countdown in 2012.

He tells Radio Times: “Strictly came after me this year. A charming woman asked me to a meeting and I said, ‘No, you’ll beguile me. And if I did the show, we would both be disappointed’.” 

And don’t hold your breath for Nick popping up in the jungle either.

“I’m a Celebrity… asked me, too,” he adds. “I’d rather eat my own leg.”

Nick, who left The Apprentice in 2014, also revealed that he still watches the BBC reality show, but admits it’s changed since he was involved.

“Yes, it’s still wonderful,” he says. “Although sometimes it’s difficult for me because I was so immersed in it and I can sort of see the way it’s going. 

“Not that I ever know who Lord Sugar’s going to fire in the boardroom. I never did, even when I was on it.”

He adds: “Today everybody wants to be famous, so the big personalities are more extreme. That’s not to say they’re not talented, so I’m not going to pour scorn on them. 

“However, the entertainment value has to be high in order to command the huge audiences that the show gets. The tasks are still very worthwhile business tasks and I’ll wrestle anyone to the ground who disagrees with me.”

PA Archive/PA Images
Nick Hewer 

As for the continued success of Countdown - Channel 4’s longest running show - Nick believes it’s all down to nostalgia.

“There’s no shouting, no gaudy prizes, no sex,” he says. “All you get, if you win a game, is a ceramic teapot. 

“It takes me back to a time when Britain was a kinder place, and it has a very loyal following. 

“I did argue once with Jay Hunt, who ran Channel 4, about why she didn’t put it on at a decent time. But people do record it.”

Read the full interview with Nick in this week’s Radio Times, out now. www.radiotimes.com

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Radio Times
Radio Times