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Rachel Riley admits Anne Robinson is 'not shy' in first look at Countdown's all-female panel

Anne will join Rachel and Dictionary Corner's Susie Dent

Francesca Shillcock

Fans have been looking forward to seeing Anne Robinson make her debut on Countdown as lead host – and it seems, according to Rachel Riley, the new presenter has settled in well thanks to her trademark sharp wit.

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Rachel, who has been the show's numbers whizz since 2009, said she was thrilled for Anne to join the team and gave an insight as to what her stint has been like to observe. "It's been really fun watching Anne very quickly find her feet in the Countdown studio and seeing the contestants in the new groove with her," she told Channel 4 in a statement.

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"She's not shy of asking them funny questions and the responses have ranged from going into their own comedy routines to not looking directly at her and hoping she doesn't see them – it's been very lively!"

Anne's appointment will see her join mathematician Rachel as well as wordsmith Susie Dent to become the programme's first female trio.

The former Weakest Link host expressed her delight at joining Countdown as well as being part of the all-female panel. She told Channel 4: "Three Girls Do Countdown - who wouldn't want to watch?"

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Rachel shared this funny photo of Nick for his final show before his departure

Susie was also quick to reveal her delight at Anne's appointment: "I'm so pleased to be able to work with Anne again. With her flair and wit, she's going to be a wonderful addition to the Countdown team."

The news of Anne joining the Channel 4 words and numbers game comes soon after Rachel posted an emotional goodbye message to former presenter Nick Hewer, who announced his departure in December 2020 after nine years.

Sharing a series of photos on Twitter, she wrote: "Posting these in honour of @Nick_Hewer's last ever Countdown filming day with us!!! @susie_dent. After nearly a whole decade, it's not going to be the same around here without Hewer the Skewer!" 

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