Former Weakest Link host, Anne Robinson has addressed rumours that her departure from Countdown is due to an ongoing feud with fellow presenter Rachel Riley.
The veteran quiz host officially announced her departure on Monday, just one year after taking up the role.
Robinson, 77, joined the popular quiz show in 2021, becoming the sixth presenter to take up the mantle, and the first ever woman to helm the programme.
The sharp tongued presenter, who recorded 265 episodes of the show, said: "I've had a blast hosting this wonderful show. And I stayed longer than I signed up for. Now it is time for an older woman to take the reins."
She added: "I hope too I've encouraged TV bosses to realise that not all women at the wrong end of their seventies 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 5k 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.”
However her departure hasn’t been without controversy, with some even suggesting it is due to an ongoing feud with fellow co-star Rachel Riley, 36 – something Anne hotly refutes.
"I’m not saying I would go on holiday with Rachel Riley, but she is brilliant", Anne told the Daily Mail. "Absolutely honestly, I do admire her – she is really, really good at what she does, as is Susie Dent.
"Look, Rachel has just come back from having a baby and she is standing throughout and faultless, whereas I get to sit down. She is noisy, yes she and Susie both are – they are a formidable pair those two.”
She even went so far as to dismiss any notion of a feud as complete “nonsense” – but did admit that during the 45 minute episodes, she didn’t speak to Rachel or Susie.
"The way that it’s filmed is so tight that… we don’t have time to talk to each other,” explained Anne. “ Between shows we have a ten-minute turn around to get changed. We can go for almost a whole run without doing more than waving to each other from the end of a corridor.”
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The rumours of a feud were also dismissed by Riley herself back in November 2021, with the numbers guru telling ITV’s Lorraine: "You know not to believe tabloids. I think it is just you have got some women there now so they want to make something up.
"I have seen all the headlines of the feuds escalating. I have been on maternity leave for about six to eight weeks or something."
Anne is due to remain on our screens until the summer, with Channel 4 expected to announce her replacement in due course.
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