Rachel Riley lifts lid on filming with Countdown’s new host Anne: ‘Some don’t look at her’

Countdown: Anne Robinson discusses becoming new presenter

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Filming for Countdown has commenced with Rachel Riley, 35, and Susie Dent, 56, back in their usual spots and Anne Robinson, 76, taking over as the show’s anchor. The new trio have posed for their first ever picture together from the studio and filming, according to Rachel, has been eventful.

It’s been very lively!

Rachel Riley

She said of new host Anne: “It’s been really fun watching Anne very quickly find her feet in the Countdown studio and seeing the contestants in the new groove with her.”

The maths whizz said the show’s latest addition was “not shy” about asking the guests funny questions.

She added: “The responses have ranged from going into their own comedy routines to not looking directly at her and hoping she doesn’t see them.

“It’s been very lively!”

Lexicographer Susie said of reuniting with the ex Weakest Link host: “I’m so pleased to be able to work with Anne again.

“She has been a heroine of mine ever since she gently rescued me from an embarrassing moment on my first bit of live TV.

“With her flair and wit, she’s going to be a wonderful addition to the Countdown team.”

Anne added of the new all-female line-up: “Three girls do Countdown – wouldn’t want to watch it?”

The presenter was previously labelled “The Queen Of Mean” due to comments she made to contestants on The Weakest Link.

Anne, who fronted the show for 12 years, used to comment on the way contestants look and would often query their intelligence.

Reflecting on that period of time, she admitted she wouldn’t be able to get away with such remarks now.

She spilled: “I wasn’t exactly drowning kittens but I would never get away with all that now – times have changed so much that I don’t think we could even make The Weakest Link today.”

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The mother-of-one added to the Daily Mail: “I don’t think half the things I said then I could say now, like, ‘Are you really that stupid?’ or ‘Why are you so fat?’

“That would be off-limits, everyone would be too worried about the poor contestants’ mental health.

“Everyone would be too worried about sending them home with… ‘issues’.”

The presenter was announced as Nick’s replacement back in April.

Long-term host Nick told fans he had the opportunity to “consider” his future during lockdown and decided to leave.

He said in a statement: “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.

“But let me now take the opportunity to say that it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to take the helm of Countdown, first broadcast back in 1982 and still a Guinness record holder.”

Countdown airs weekdays from 2.10pm on Channel 4.

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