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Anne Robinson, 76, becomes FIRST female presenter of Countdown

Anne Robinson has been confirmed as the first female presenter of Countdown after being named as the outgoing Nick Hewer’s replacement. 

The no-nonsense TV personality, 76, best known for her former role on The Weakest Link, will take over from Hewer later this year. 

Confirmation of her appointment on the Channel 4 staple was made on Monday morning’s edition of Steph’s Packed Lunch, where her name formed a Countdown inspired conundrum. 

New appointment: Anne Robinson has been confirmed as the first female presenter of Countdown after being named as the outgoing Nick Hewer’s replacement

Speaking live on the show, Robinson told host Steph McGovern she’s excited to be joining Rachel Riley and Susie Dent, saying: ‘I’m very excited, I want to rename it Three Clever Girls Do Countdown.”‘ 

Asked if she’s a fan of conundrums, she added: ‘I love anagrams. I do The Times crossword every day. I’m not very good at adding up or subtracting…

‘I’ll tell you what’s great about this show, it’s very clever contestants who have to work at speed. I think that’s what’s most impressive, they do it within 30 seconds.’

Steph also asked what her approach will be on Countdown, given her reputation as the “queen of mean”.

He's off: Hewer has presented Countdown since 2012, but he has made the decision to step down as host after taking a temporary break in order to shield from the spread of coronavirus at home

He’s off: Hewer has presented Countdown since 2012, but he has made the decision to step down as host after taking a temporary break in order to shield from the spread of coronavirus at home 

She replied: ‘I’ve had my family here, two grandsons, daughter and son-in-law. It seems like a year they’ve been here doing home-screaming, as I call it, and I really have been practising to be nice… not always successfully. But I am going to tone down my nastiness… sort of!’ 

Robinson also told Steph she’s slightly scared of Susie Dent’s and Rachel Riley’s brains, adding: ‘The three of us will transform things, it will be Countdown goes chic, won’t it?!’

And she sent a message to viewers, saying: ‘Keep watching and please can we have some female contestants?’

Well done: Confirmation of her appointment on the Channel 4 staple was made on Monday morning's edition of Steph's Packed Lunch, where her name formed a Countdown inspired conundrum

Well done: Confirmation of her appointment on the Channel 4 staple was made on Monday morning’s edition of Steph’s Packed Lunch, where her name formed a Countdown inspired conundrum

Reaching out: Former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, who worked as the show's resident math's whizz from 1982 to 2008, was among those on hand to congratulate Robinson

Reaching out: Former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, who worked as the show’s resident math’s whizz from 1982 to 2008, was among those on hand to congratulate Robinson

Steph asked how she feels about returning to TV, with Robinson saying: ‘I feel more at home on the telly than I do anywhere else. I’m delighted. 

‘I did slightly hope, with diversity, I might take over from Gary Lineker on Match of the Day but then the Countdown request came and it’s much better.’

Robinson also confirmed she’ll be on screen later this year, telling viewers: ‘You’ll start seeing us three clever girls early summer.’   

Divided: News of Robinson's arrival sparked a mixed response among viewers of the show, with some calling it an inspired appointment, while others claimed Robinson was too old

Divided: News of Robinson’s arrival sparked a mixed response among viewers of the show, with some calling it an inspired appointment, while others claimed Robinson was too old

The presenter became a familiar presence on TV screens after fronting BBC show’s What The Papers Say, Watchdog and Points Of View during the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s. 

But it was her straight-talking approach and popular catchphrase on The Weakest Link that helped turn her into a household name. 

Running from 2000 to 2012, the hugely successful show was syndicated across the world and became renowned for Robinson’s famous sign-off – ‘You are the Weakest Link, goodbye.’   

Old times: Robinson became a familiar presence on TV screens after fronting BBC show's What The Papers Say, Watchdog and Points Of View (pictured hosting What The Papers Say in 1982)

Old times: Robinson became a familiar presence on TV screens after fronting BBC show’s What The Papers Say, Watchdog and Points Of View (pictured hosting What The Papers Say in 1982)

Success: But it was her straight-talking approach and popular catchphrase on The Weakest Link that helped turn her into a household name

Success: But it was her straight-talking approach and popular catchphrase on The Weakest Link that helped turn her into a household name

News of Robinson’s arrival sparked a mixed response among viewers of the show, with some calling it an inspired appointment, while others claimed Robinson was too old.

Taking to Twitter, one wrote: ‘So excited!! Anne Robinson is the prefect choice’ 

While another commented: ‘Countdown go edgy and leftfield with their next host, the very experience autumn-chicken Anne Robinson.’ 

A third, less enthused viewer, added: ‘It must be April Fools Day. She is 76.’ 

Can't wait: Speaking live on Steph's Packed Lunch, Robinson told host Steph McGovern she’s excited to be joining show regulars Rachel Riley and Susie Dent

Can’t wait: Speaking live on Steph’s Packed Lunch, Robinson told host Steph McGovern she’s excited to be joining show regulars Rachel Riley and Susie Dent

Fearful: Robinson also told Steph she’s slightly scared of Susie and Rache’s bralins, adding, 'The three of us will transform things, it will be Countdown goes chic, won’t it?!'

Fearful: Robinson also told Steph she’s slightly scared of Susie and Rache’s bralins, adding, ‘The three of us will transform things, it will be Countdown goes chic, won’t it?!’

Former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, who worked as the show’s resident math’s whizz from 1982 to 2008, was among those on hand to congratulate Robinson. 

‘Wishing lovely Anne the very best on Countdown,’ she tweeted. ‘I hope your time on the show is as happy as mine was for so very many years. Only the happiest of memories.’ 

Evidently in agreement, a fourth wrote: ‘I can see Anne Robinson working well on Countdown. She can do light just as well as stern. 

‘Probably a bit old however – not to do her down, but I can’t see her wanting to do more than a couple of years. She’s 76 already.’  

Farewell:  Outgoing host Hewer confirmed his departure from the show in December following a nine year spell as its regular presenter

Farewell:  Outgoing host Hewer confirmed his departure from the show in December following a nine year spell as its regular presenter

Outgoing host Hewer confirmed his departure from the show in December following a nine year spell as its regular presenter.

Hewer, 76, had been temporarily replaced by Colin Murray while he shielded at home following the spread of coronavirus, but later revealed he will not be returning.

Sharing a series of tweets, he wrote: ‘Delighted to be back in the Countdown studio after another enforced lockdown, BUT this latest lockdown has given me an opportunity to consider my future life.

‘I’ve decided it’s a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year.’

Main man: Richard Whiteley hosted Countdown from its launch in 1982 until his death in 2005

Main man: Richard Whiteley hosted Countdown from its launch in 1982 until his death in 2005

Difference of opinion: Fans of the show continued to air their thoughts on Twitter following Robison's announcement

Difference of opinion: Fans of the show continued to air their thoughts on Twitter following Robison’s announcement 

Her added: ‘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.

‘Although I’ll be on your screens well into 2021, let me thank the broadcasters Channel 4, the truly dedicated and unwaveringly professional studio crew and production staff at ITV Studios who make the programmes, all 250 or so a year.

My turn: The late Des O'Connor hosted the long-running show from 2007 to 2008

My turn: The late Des O’Connor hosted the long-running show from 2007 to 2008

Stepping in: He was followed by Jeff Stelling, who acted as Countdown host from 2009 until 2011

Stepping in: He was followed by Jeff Stelling, who acted as Countdown host from 2009 until 2011

‘My wonderfully talented co-hosts Susie Dent and Rachel Riley but above all, the quirky genius of producer Damian Eadie, who never ceases to amuse and who always demands the best of us.

‘And a sincere thanks to our loyal viewers and of course the legions of contestants who battle their brains out for the chance of carrying off the Richard Whiteley Trophy or a priceless teapot.

‘And so, to whoever takes my seat, I wish you every success and hope that you have as much fun and reward as I’ve enjoyed.’ 

Robinson becomes  the show’s sixth full time presenter, following Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O’Connor, Jeff Stelling and the outgoing Hewer. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk