Countdown’s Anne Robinson has branded the Rachel Riley rift rumours ‘nonsense’ after confirming her departure from the Channel 4 show.
The 77-year-old presenter took over from The Apprentice’s Nick Hewer on the popular game show last year, becoming its sixth presenter and the first female to take the role.
Anne, who has recorded 265 episodes, said: ‘I’ve had a blast hosting this wonderful show. And I stayed longer than I signed up for. Now it is time for an older woman to take the reins.’
During her time on the series, rumours have been rife of a rift between Anne and co-star Rachel.
In November 2021, it was claimed Anne had Rachel’s microphone turned off after she reportedly found her chatting to contestants ‘hugely distracting’.
Addressing the speculation over her departure, Anne said: ‘I’m not saying I would go on holiday with Rachel Riley, but she is brilliant.
‘Absolutely honestly, I do admire her – she is really, really good at what she does, as is [co-star] Susie Dent.’
‘Look, Rachel has just come back from having a baby and she is standing throughout and faultless, whereas I get to sit down,’ she added to the Daily Mail.
‘She is noisy, yes she and Susie both are – they are a formidable pair those two. But there isn’t a question of my going because of a rift, that’s nonsense.’
Rachel was also forced to dismiss reports of a ‘feud’ between her and co-star Anne, telling ITV’s Lorraine that people should ‘not believe tabloids.’
Anne revealed in her statement that she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren as they are ‘all deserving more of my attention.’
She said: ‘I hope too I’ve encouraged TV bosses to realise that not all women at the wrong end of their seventies are in care homes playing bingo and watching conjuring tricks.
‘In fact, the genius of Countdown is that it’s a brilliant way to keep the brain exercised. I run 5k most days of the week.
‘And I can now do an anagram at twice the speed I could this time last year.’
Countdown airs weekdays at 2.10pm on Channel 4.