Countdown’s Rachel Riley Admits There Hasn’t Been ‘Much Team Bonding’ With New Host Anne Robinson

The former Weakest Link presenter took over from Nick Hewer as the host of the Channel 4 show in June.

Countdown’s Rachel Riley has admitted there hasn’t been “much team bonding” since Anne Robinson joined the Channel 4 show.

Anne, who previously presented The Weakest Link, took over hosting duties from Nick Hewer earlier this year.

Maths whizz Rachel, who has been on the long-running show since 2009. says it is “completely different” working with Anne because her appointment took place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Countdown hosts (L-R) Rachel Riley, Anne Robinson and Susie Dent.
Countdown hosts (L-R) Rachel Riley, Anne Robinson and Susie Dent.
Channel 4

“We used to all be in the same room together but because of coronavirus everyone’s off separately having their make-up done so we don’t see each other as much,’ she told Yahoo Life. “We’ve not really done much team bonding.”

“Obviously, we had 10 years with Nick and we really knew each other. She is a completely different character,” Rachel added.

After Anne joined Countdown back in June, she revealed the major change she wanted to implement on the show after becoming the first female presenter in its 39-year history.

Anne explained she’d pleaded with producers to ensure that more women were featured as contestants on the show.

via PA Features Archive/Press Association Images

“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 urged 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.”


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