Why wasn’t Nick Hewer on Countdown today? Colin Murray praised as a ‘natural’ as he replaces host

Some fans called for him to replace Nick for good!

Countdown host Nick Hewer was replaced by Colin Murray on the show today (December 21), with viewers labelling him a “natural”.

The Radio Five Live star, who regularly makes guest appearances on the Channel 4 series, was praised by fans as he starred alongside Susie Dent and Rachel Riley.

It comes after original host Nick was forced to skip filming due to coronavirus guidelines.

Colin Murray replaced Nick Hewer on Countdown (Credit: Channel 4)

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Why wasn’t Nick Hewer on Countdown?

Nick is set to miss out on the next few months of the Channel 4 show.

As the star is 76, bosses believed it was best for him to shield at home.

The presenter previously gave Colin his seal of approval in November, saying: “Good luck to Colin Murray, popular dictionary corner guest and Countdown fanatic, who takes over from me as host today and for the rest of Covid Lockdown recordings (although I’ll still be on your screens for a week or two) as this 76-year-old shields at home.

“In spite of the amazing military-style safety protocols put in place by ITV Studios and Channel 4.”

Countdown’s original host Nick Hewer gave Colin his seal of approval (Credit:

What did viewers think of Colin?

Opening today’s show, Colin revealed he was “delighted” after being a self-proclaimed fan of the teatime programme for years.

He said: “If 2020 couldn’t get anymore more bizarre! My name is Colin Murray and due to restrictions I will be filling in for Nick Hewer for the foreseeable future.

“Listen, I’ve been a fan of this show since I was five years old, so this is an absolute dream come true.”

And he didn’t disappointed, with viewers flocking to Twitter to comment on Colin’s debut.

Colin was joined Rachel Riley on the show (Credit: Channel 4)

One wrote: “@C4Countdown Colin Murray is a natural at this Countdown.”

Another said: “Was it just me or was the atmosphere that of a classroom when the teacher has stepped out? Can @ColinMurray stay please?”

A third added: “In his own way @ColinMurray comes over as a natural, as always. Sad that @Nick_Hewer will be leaving but surely this was a great pilot for the new team.”

A fourth gushed: “Thank you @ColinMurray for the wonderful presenting of  @C4Countdown.  You fit in like the Countdown teapot… priceless! Please sign the man up as new presenter once @Nick_Hewer leaves next year.”

When is Nick leaving the Channel 4 show?

Earlier this month, Nick shocked fans when he revealed that he is leaving the Channel 4 show for good.

The Apprentice star has been the show’s host for a decade, but he said it “felt like a good time” to step down.

In a statement, 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.

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

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

Former star Carol Vorderman is a favourite to replace Nick, while BBC star Clare Balding could be in luck with odds of 4/1.

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