Veteran TV personality Des O'Connor has revealed he's stepping down as presenter of Countdown. After almost two years of hosting the long running show the entertainer will quit at the end of the current series in November - putting his departure down to the fact he misses the "thrill" of performing live.
"It's been wonderful hosting a programme which is part of TV folklore," reveals the veteran, who's started work on his 36th album and is in talks to do a West End show. "I've made a lot of new friends. Carol Vorderman has been a joy... it's been a giggle since day one."
"But I miss the thrill of stepping out on a live stage for the one-man concerts and the challenge of live TV entertainment-based shows," he admitted.
And fan-favourite Des, who replaced former Match Of The Day frontman Des Lynam in January last year, will certainly be missed in the Leeds studio.
"Audiences love him and we have had so many laughs in the studio," says maths whiz Carol, who's been with the game show since it launched in 1982.
Hot favourites to take the Countdown reins are thought to include Stephen Fry and Deal Or No Deal host Noel Edmonds.