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Rachel Riley plans the perfect send-off gift for Nick Hewer after quitting Countdown

The presenter was at the helm for nearly ten years

Sharnaz Shahid

Rachel Riley is preparing to say farewell to her colleague Nick Hewer, who has confirmed he will be stepping down as host of Countdown in the New Year.

The 76-year-old presenter, who joined the Channel 4 daytime show back in 2012, recently took some time away from the gameshow in order to shield at home during the second coronavirus lockdown. He was replaced by Colin Murray, but has since returned to the studio.

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Taking to Twitter, co-host and celebrity mathematician Rachel was quick to react to the news, tweeting: "Right, time to get a bingo list of things you need to slip into the show while you’re hosting @Nick_Hewer [winking face emoji]."

In his statement, Nick had said it has been a "privilege and a pleasure" to be part of the show for so many years as he thanked his co-stars Rachel and Susie Dent.

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"Delighted to be back in the Countdown studio after another enforced lockdown, BUT this latest lockdown has given me an opportunity to consider my future life," he said on Monday. "I've decided it's a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year. As someone in his 77th year, who will be in his 10th year hosting the great British institution that is Countdown, I think it's time to smell the flowers and get a dog."

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Nick Hewer is leaving Countdown after ten years

He added: "But let me now take the opportunity to say that it's been a privilege and a pleasure to take the helm of Countdown, first broadcast back in 1982 and still a Guinness recordholder. And although I'll be on your screens well into 2021, let me thank the broadcasters Channel 4, the truly dedicated and unwaveringly professional studio crew and production staff at ITV Studios who make the programmes."

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Turning his attention to his colleagues, Nick said: "All 250 or so a year, my wonderfully talented co-hosts Susie Dent and Rachel Riley but above all, the quirky genius of producer Damian Eadie, who never ceases to amuse and who always demands the best of us.

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Rachel sent a heartwarming message to her colleague

"And a sincere thanks to our loyal viewers and of course the legions of contestants who battle their brains out for the chance of carrying off the Richard Whiteley Trophy or a priceless teapot. And so, to whoever takes my seat, I wish you every success and hope that you have as much fun and reward as I've enjoyed. @C4Countdown @susie_dent @RachelRileyR."

In November, Nick took a break from the show and was replaced by presenter Colin. The former Apprentice star had the longest run hosting Countdown since original presenter Richard Whiteley.

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