14 NOVEMBER 2008

The curtain came down on 26 years of consonants and conundrums from Carol Vorderman as the maths whizz filmed her final episode of Countdown.

Speaking outside the studio in Leeds, one of the countless bouquets sent by friends in her arms, the TV favourite was upbeat, telling onlookers: "There's a party atmosphere in there".

Tears flowed freely later on, though, when she appeared in an extra 'Goodbye Carol' show. The tribute, which features clips of her beloved co-host Richard Whiteley who passed away three years ago, will air on December 12.

Carol - who stepped down following cuts to the programme's budget - recorded her farewell episode before an audience including her children and celebrity friends like Countdown regular Gyles Brandreth.

Afterwards the 47-year-old said: "It was a very special send-off, especially when I saw Richard's face on screen.

"I can't believe it has come to an end - or how kind everyone has been," she continued. "But I'm a lucky old bird to have been be adding up for 26 years."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
After 4,750 episodes Carol is moving on from the popular quiz show Photo: © Channel 4Click on photo to enlarge