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Nick Hewer announces Countdown departure: Who will replace him?

He has hosted the Channel 4 show since 2012

Nick Hewer has quit Countdown after hosting the Channel 4 game show for 10 years.

The presenter, 76, announced several weeks ago that he was taking a break from the teatime programme. However, he’s now confirmed he will not be returning.

On Twitter today (December 7), Nick paid tribute to his Countdown co-stars Rachel Riley and Susie Dent as he announced the news, telling fans he felt that “now is a good time to step down”.

Nick Hewer is stepping away from Countdown permanently (Credit: FameFlynet.uk.com / SplashNews.com)

Why had Nick Hewer quit Countdown?

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.

Read more: Countdown: Nick Hewer replaced by Colin Murray due to coronavirus lockdown 

“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.

Nick Hewer has been host of Countdown since 2012 (Credit: Channel 4)

“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.”

It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to take the helm of Countdown.

Nick went on to reassure fans he would still be on their screens “well into 2021”.

After thanking the show’s producers, co-stars Susie and Rachel and all the loyal viewers, he added: “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.”

Nick confirmed Colin Murray would be hosting in his place during lockdown episodes Credit: SplashNews.com)

Who is Nick Hewer’s replacement Colin Murray?

Colin Murray, whom Nick Hewer confirmed would be replacing him temporarily last month, is a Northern Irish radio and TV presenter.

Colin, a self-proclaimed Countdown fanatic, has previously served as a guest on the show’s Dictionary Corner.

Read more: Channel 4 viewers delighted as Rachel Riley brings baby Maven on Countdown

When the news broke that bosses were drafting Colin in, he admitted he was nervous as he responded to Nick’s tweet wishing him good luck.

He wrote on Twitter: “That’s so very kind of you and much appreciated! You have calmed my nerves somewhat, so thank you! I shall make sure to keep your dressing room spotless! Love to the family.”

Who has previously presented Countdown?

Nick Hewer took over as the host of Countdown in 2012, when he replaced previous presenter Jeff Stelling.

The show’s first ever host, when it launched in 1982, was Richard Whiteley. Richard remains the longest serving presenter, as he held the role until 2005.

After Richard, Des Lynam took over (2005-2006), followed by Des O’Connor (2007 and 2008) and then Jeff Stelling (2009-2011).

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