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

Countdown presenters Rachel Riley and Carol Vorderman pay tribute following death of show legend

Nick Hewer and Susie Dent have also paid their respects

| Updated:

Countdown presenters including Rachel Riley and Carol Vorderman have shared their heartbreak over the news that one of the show’s iconic figures has died.

Marcel Stellman, the creator of the iconic Channel 4 series, has tragically passed away.

The TV legend was 96.

Marcel created the hit Channel 4 series (Credit: Channel 4)

Stars pay tribute to Countdown legend

Stars of the show rushed to pay their respects to the man responsible for one of the UK’s most beloved series.

Rachel Riley took to Twitter, saying: “Sad news at the loss of the man who brought Countdown to the UK.

“Marcel was the most kind-hearted man with stories to tell from decades in the music industry working with everyone there was to work with, and all that time with lovely Jeannie. May his memory be a blessing.

Read more: Mark Labbett admits to having a soft spot for Carol Vorderman after split from wife

Former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, who appeared on the show for 26 years from 1982 until 2008, said Marcel was a “juggernaut”.

“I am so sorry to hear this news Mark. Marcel and Jeanie and I had so many very happy decades together, forging a path for Countdown in the early days and working hard together to make it the juggernaut it then became…

“Happy days. A great life well lived,” added the star.

Marcel and Carol grew close during her time on the show.

When Carol quit, Marcel expressed his upset over the matter at the time.

“This is a person I have known for 26 years who started Countdown,” he said. “If I am Mr Countdown, she is Mrs Countdown.”

Read more: Nick Hewer admits ‘it’ll be sad to say goodbye’ to Countdown and he ‘might well’ get ’emotional’

Susie Dent also shared her sympathies, and said that Marcel was well loved among those on the show.

“Very sad news for the Countdown family today. With the death of Marcel Stellman we have lost our patriarch and most passionate advocate. He brought to the UK a format that almost everyone has played and loved. And we loved him.”

Rachel Riley shared her heartbreak on Twitter (Credit: Channel 4)

Who is Marcel Stellman?

Marcel started out working on children’s TV shows for the BBC.

He brought Countdown to the UK in 1982 after being inspired by French TV series Des Chiffres et Des Lettres.

Marcel even appeared on Countdown himself.

He popped up during the show’s 2,000th, 3,000th and 5,000th episodes to mark the anniversaries.

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.