Countdown: Anne Robinson to step down as presenter

Channel 4

Anne Robinson is stepping down as the host of Channel 4 quiz show Countdown after a year.

The former Weakest Link presenter, 77, joined the daytime staple in 2021, becoming its sixth presenter and the first woman to take the role.

She said she had a “blast” hosting the show but it was now time for “an older woman to take the reins”.

Robinson, who recorded 265 episodes, will appear in shows until the summer, Channel 4 said.

She said she had enjoyed hosting the “wonderful show” but had “stayed longer than I signed up for”.

Robinson added: “I hope too I’ve encouraged TV bosses to realise that not all women at the wrong end of their 70s are in care homes playing bingo and watching conjuring tricks.

“In fact the genius of Countdown is that it’s a brilliant way to keep the brain exercised. I run 5km most days of the week.

“And I can now do an anagram at twice the speed I could this time last year.

“But I have grandchildren, a large garden and a home in New York, all deserving more of my attention.”

She joined mathematician Rachel Riley and lexicographer Susie Dent in an all female line-up on the daytime show, with her first instalment broadcast on 28 June.

Anne Robinson on The Weakest Link

Robinson followed in the footsteps of Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O’Connor, Jeff Stelling and Nick Hewer as the presenter of Countdown, which launched in 1982.

A show spokesperson said: “Quick-witted Anne has been a brilliant host on this iconic show.”

A former journalist, Robinson became known for her trademark-style of delivering cutting remarks to contestants when she presented The Weakest Link, which ran from 2000 until 2012.

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