26 JULY 2008

After 26 years solving mathematical puzzles on hit TV show Countdown, Carol Vorderman has announced she is stepping down from her role.

Maths whizz Carol, who has been with the show since it first began in 1982, made her decision just days after the programme's host, Des O'Connor, said he was leaving.

"It was a difficult decision because she loves Countdown dearly and always has," said her manager, John Miles. "The contestants, viewers and crew are like family to her."

While it is believed 47-year-old Carol had been struggling to agree a new contract for the show which made her a household name, it is thought she had not felt the same after the loss of her long-term co-host Richard Whiteley in 2005.

Both Carol and Des are expected to leave the programme in November. Impressionist Rory Bremner is currently favourite to step in as the new main presenter, while other runners include Welsh star Aled Jones and TV personality Gyles Brandreth.

Photo: ©
Carol first thought about leaving the show after the death of her much-loved co-host Richard Whiteley in 2005, said her manager. The couple were the first faces seen on Channel 4
Photo: ©
Maths genius Carol is expected to leave the programme at the same time as current host Des O'Connor, who is stepping down after two years at the helm Photo: © Channel 4
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