29 JULY 2008

The storm over Carol Vorderman's departure from Countdown continues after a raft of celebrities have spoken out in her favour. Famous faces who've appeared in the C4 programme's 'Dictionary Corner' section backed the resident number cruncher, who walked out after being asked to take a 90 per cent cut to her estimated £1 million-a-year salary.

TV bosses are said to have told the popular presenter: "The show survived without Richard Whiteley. It can survive without you."

Esther Ranzten said: "I'm absolutely astonished that Carol's been treated with such an extraordinary lack of good manners."

The TV veteran was joined in her outrage by Ingrid Tarrant, Anne Widdecombe and Sian Lloyd among others. Former weathergirl Sian remarked: "It's hard to imagine what appeal the show will have without her".

But this week programme makers, who are facing a 33 per cent cut in the show's overall budget as a result of the poor economic climate, insisted, "Countdown will continue, but with new presenters".

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Esther Rantzen was among those questioning C4's treatment of the TV maths whizz
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Another supporter, Sian Lloyd, said she couldn't imagine what appeal Countdown would have without CarolPhoto: © Getty Images
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