Countdown legend Nick Hewer quits after 10 years as host

Countdown host Nick Hewer has announced his time is up on the speedy gameshow, and he will be quitting the series after a decade. 

The 76-year-old host announced his retirement from TV in a heartwarming statement declaring he was going to ‘smell the flowers and get a dog’. 

Nick returned to filming the series today after shielding due to coronavirus, with Rachel Riley explaining he had been temporarily replaced earlier this year as he was considered ‘vulnerable’.

But to mark his return, Nick tweeted that the time had come for him to say goodbye to the show permanently. 

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.

‘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,’ he continued. 

‘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 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.’

Finally, he added: ‘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.’

Countdown airs weekdays on Channel 4.

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