Susie Dent: Countdown star’s ‘sadness’ as she talks show changes amid Nick Hewer’s exit

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Susie Dent is the resident lexicographer on Countdown alongside mathematician Rachel Riley and presenter Nick Hewer, with the latter announcing his departure from the programme after a decade. The small-screen star has spoken candidly about his exit as she expressed losing a “genuine friend”.

In a new interview, Susie admitted that she would miss Nick and his “extremely dry” sense of humour.

Nick joined Countdown back in 2012, taking over the role from sports presenter Jeff Stelling.

The TV veteran has announced he will be leaving the programme after taking some time to reflect on his life during lockdown.

In a lengthy social media post, Nick explained that it was a “good time to step down from my contract”.

Speaking about his departure, Susie said: “I feel really sad, genuinely, because he is a friend.

“He’s also a real mischief maker, and he is well aware of some of the innuendo that is happening when I’m not and will very innocently ask me to explain something, knowing it’s probably going to be a rude definition.”

She went on: “So he’s very mischievous, he’s extremely dry and he’s also incredibly kind and such a supportive person.

“He goes out of his way to help people in their careers or in their lives. I will definitely miss him.”

Anne Robinson has since been announced as Nick’s replacement on Countdown.

The Dictionary Corner favourite also opened up about her thoughts on Anne being a part of the longest-standing British quiz show.

Susie revealed that The Weakest Link presenter recently came to her rescue after she missed a question on another programme.

She was quizzed if she was “petrified” about Anne joining the Channel 4 show.


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Speaking with Jenny Kleeman and Luke Jones on Times Radio, Susie commented: “Do you know what? I will always be grateful to Anne because she rescued me on my first voyage into live telly, on a programme she did called Test The Nation.

“I was an expert along with John Humphrys on the English language.”

She continued “I was so nervous. I got through the first question and then thought, ‘OK, I’ve done it.’

“I completely missed the next question. Anne could have annihilated me but she didn’t.

“She repeated the question to me very gently. So, I’ll always be grateful to her for that.”

Meanwhile, Susie’s co-star Rachel announced that she is pregnant with her second child.

The mathematician welcomed her first daughter Maven in 2019 with her husband and former Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev.

Countdown airs weekdays on Channel 4 at 2.10pm.

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