Rachel Riley has broken her silence after Countdown presenter Nick Hewer revealed he is taking a break from the Channel 4 daytime show in order to shield at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The host is set to be replaced by media personality Colin Murray for the duration of England's second lockdown.
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Upon confirming the news, former Strictly star Rachel urged her "TV husband" to stay safe as she welcomed Colin to the team. "Stay safe TV husband! And good luck temporary TV boyfriend @ColinMurray," she tweeted.
WATCH: Rachel Riley's baby daughter makes her Countdown debut
Although the team at Countdown have put "military-style safety protocols" in the studio, 76-year-old Nick revealed his family's wishes for him to remain at home.
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"Good luck to Colin Murray, popular dictionary corner guest and Countdown fanatic, who takes over from me as host today and for the rest of Covid lockdown recordings," he tweeted.
"(Although I'll still be on your screens for a week or two) as this 76-year-old shields at home - in spite of the amazing military-style safety protocols put in place by ITV Studios and Channel4."
Nick Hewer is taking a break from Countdown
He then joked: "Between you and me, I'd have confidently carried on, but the family has handcuffed me to a radiator, saying, 'You're not going anywhere'. So have fun Colin and keep my chair warm for me."
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Colin was quick to reply, tweeting: "That's so very kind of you and much appreciated! You have calmed my nerves somewhat, so thank you! I shall make sure to keep your dressing room spotless! Love to the family."
Rachel will continue to film the daytime show amid the second lockdown
Earlier this year, the daytime show halted production due to the pandemic. Cast and crew returned to filming in July without a live audience. Ahead of their return, Rachel said during a chat with JLGB: "We're not going to have an audience, unfortunately. But for Countdown it's probably less important than compared to a comedy show. We film 15 shows in three days so we would need at least 17 contestants I think it is."
Explaining how their filming guidelines will have to change due to social distancing, the TV star explained: "We can't have people travelling across the UK, so we're going to have to find more local people and navigate it more differently with hair and makeup. We'll make it work, we all really want to get back to work so hopefully Countdown will be back on soon - got my husband at home!"
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