Anne Robinson is stepping down as Countdown host after a year “in the hot seat”.
Former Weakest Link star Robinson, 77, joined the Channel 4 quiz show last year, becoming its sixth host and the first woman to take on the role.
Robinson, who chronicled 265 episodes of the show, said: “I’ve had a blast hosting this wonderful show. And I stayed longer than I signed up. Now it’s time for an older woman to take the reins.”
She added: “I also hope I’ve encouraged TV bosses to realize that not all women at the wrong end of the 70’s are in nursing homes, playing bingo and watching magic tricks.
“In fact, the genius of Countdown is that it’s a brilliant way to train the brain. I run 5km most days of the week.
“And I can now do an anagram twice as fast as I could this time last year.
“But I have grandchildren, a big garden and a house in New York, all of which deserve more attention.”
She will be appearing on shows through the summer, with a new presenter to be announced in due course, Channel 4 said.
A spokesperson for the show said: “The quick-witted Anne was a brilliant host of this iconic show.”
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Robinson followed in the footsteps of Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O’Connor, Jeff Stelling and Nick Hewer as the presenter of Countdown, which began life in 1982.
She joined the daytime show last year alongside mathematician Rachel Riley and lexicographer Susie Dent, with its first episode airing on June 28.
In November 2021, Riley dismissed reports of a “feud” between her and co-star Robinson, telling ITV’s Lorraine: “You know not to believe tabloids. I think it’s just that you’ve got some women there now who want to make something up.
“I’ve seen all the headlines of the escalating feuds. I’ve been on maternity leave for about six to eight weeks.”
Speaking of Robinson’s famously icy public persona, Riley told Lorraine Kelly, “She’s not the most cuddly person in the world. It’s just a different show now. She makes it her own.
“She gets things out of the candidates. Sometimes it’s unruly, sometimes it’s funny. She has different tastes.”
Robinson became known for making snide remarks to contestants when she presented The Weakest Link, which first aired in 2000 before ending 12 years later.
It returned for a Children In Need special in 2017.
It was re-broadcast in December 2021 when Romesh Ranganathan hosted a celebrity version of the BBC One quiz show.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/anne-robinson-stepping-down-as-host-of-channel-4s-countdown-41608147.html Anne Robinson is stepping down as presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown