Countdown’s surprising new host revealed after Anne Robinson exit

Les Dennis has officially been unveiled as the new host of Countdown following Anne Robinson's final episode airing earlier this month.

Collin Murray temporarily replaced Anne until the end of this year, but Les will step into the hosting role for a limited time through the month of August.

With the star previously presenting Family Fortunes between 1987 and 2002, Les has got bags of experience under his belt and will bring his own style to the show as it continues its transitional period.

Les also starred as Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street and appeared on Ricky Gervais' Extras – as well as recently joining the Only Fools and Horses musical as Grandad.

Announcing his role as a guest host, Les took to Twitter, writing: "I shall be hosting the iconic Countdown. It is such an honour. Hope you enjoy."

This comes after Anne Robinson's turbulent period as the host of the long-running game show, with the former Weakest Link host reportedly having a rift with the show's resident maths genius, Rachel Riley.

The pair's lack of chemistry on the show was noticeable to viewers, and reports suggested that Anne had an issue with Rachel.

However, she attempted to dispel those rumours, saying Rachel "is brilliant" and that she "admires her".

Speaking to the Daily Mail in May, she 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 [the lexicographer] 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 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.”

But despite only being appointed the host of Countdown in 2021, Anne decided to step down earlier this year – admitting she "stayed longer" than she'd "signed up for".

After 265 episodes of the show, she decided to call it a day, saying: “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.”

She added: “I hope, too, I’ve encouraged TV bosses to realise that not all women at the wrong end of their 70s are in care homes playing bingo and watching conjuring tricks.”

READ MORE:

  • Carol Vorderman hints at Countdown return as replacing Anne Robinson would be an 'honour'

  • Anne Robinson is all smiles as she's seen for first time since quitting Countdown

  • Anne Robinson speaks out on Rachel Riley feud as she quits Countdown

  • Anne Robinson quits Countdown after one year to spend more time with grandkids

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