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Countdown Scandal Sees Tension Rise Between Presenters

Cameron Frew


Countdown Scandal Sees Tension Rise Between PresentersChannel 4/Rachel Riley/Instagram

Countdown’s Rachel Riley and Anne Robinson have been clashing behind the scenes, according to a new report, with the maths whizz ‘threatening to quit’ if issues aren’t resolved. 

Riley first joined Channel 4’s long-running puzzle show back in 2009, replacing Carol Vorderman after 26 years. Robinson, of The Weakest Link infamy, became the programme’s first female host earlier this year, taking over from Nick Hewer.


While ratings are the highest since 2012, the pair have been embroiled in a ‘feud’, with Riley warning the clock is ticking unless Robinson’s behaviour is addressed.

Anne Robinson, Rachel Riley and Susie Dent on CountdownChannel 4

Robinson allegedly muted Riley’s microphone on set after moaning she was ‘too loud’ and becoming tired of her small talk with the contestants before filming, The Sun reports. The host has also been left frustrated with Riley allegedly ‘turning up at the last minute’ and ‘being on her phone’.

An unnamed producer who earlier worked with Robinson told the outlet, ‘Anne is famously known for two things: her dislike of noise and time-keeping. She’ll tolerate neither.


‘Anne also has tinnitus and cannot bear excess sound. Rachel, with her big heels and even bigger personality, can be quite loud on set. Rachel used to chat to contestants before every show, and Anne found it hugely distracting.’

Anne Robinson on Countdown. (Channel 4)Channel 4

Another insider said, ‘Rachel and Anne had clashed for some time and for Rachel, enough is enough. She has moaned about Anne a number of times and even said she would consider walking away from Countdown if the issues weren’t sorted. Rachel went on maternity leave last month and the break from the set couldn’t have come at a better time.

‘She has really struggled with Anne and been backed by Susie, who has seen it all first-hand and has similar gripes. Rachel just wants to be treated with more respect and she expects it to be different when she returns to filming,’ they added.


Riley earlier admitted there hadn’t been much ‘team bonding’ due to COVID-19 measures during filming. ‘Obviously we had 10 years with Nick and we really knew each other. [Robinson] is a completely different character,’ she said.

A Channel 4 insider told The Sun that while Robinson has ‘single-handedly’ bumped up Countdown‘s ratings, ‘Rachel is a maths genius which isn’t an easy skill to replicate… we just hope they can hold peace talks so both stay’.

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Topics: Film and TV, Channel 4, Now


The Sun
  1. The Sun

    COUNTDOWN CONUNDRUM Countdown’s Rachel Riley threatens to QUIT if bosses don’t discipline Anne Robinson after backstage rows

Cameron Frew
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