Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Rachel Riley

From consonants and vowels to sequins and show tunes, here's Rachel Riley's journey to the Strictly dance floor


Name: Rachel Riley


Age: 27

Twitter: @RachelRileyRR

Famous for: being in charge of the consonants and vowels on Countdown and reviewing gadgets on The Gadget Show

“I really like positivity, I will try hard and I will put the effort in, so if something’s going wrong, it’s not because I’m not trying. I want someone who is patient, supportive and encouraging.”

Bio: Oxford university maths graduate Rachel Riley was plucked from obscurity to fill Carol Vorderman’s shoes on Countdown in 2009, despite having no previous presenting experience.

She’s taken to it like a duck to water, though, and recently recorded her 1,000th episode – a landmark which saw her presented with a bunch of flowers by her footballing hero Ryan Giggs. 

Such a huge Manchester United fan is Rachel that she even appeared on Celebrity Mastermind in 2012 with the club’s history as her topic of choice. 

As well as pulling out those all important consonants and vowels and doing the numbers round on Countdown, Riley also presents Channel 5’s The Gadget Show. And she’s also starred in The IT Crowd, Top Gear, 8 Out of 10 Cats and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

The star, who lives in Southend-on-Sea and is married to her childhood sweetheart, is pretty much as wholesome as they get. But type Rachel Riley into YouTube and you’d be surprised by the results. It’s as if people are tuning into Countdown just to see how tight or low cut her dress is. We suspect Rachel might draw a few more male viewers into Strictly this series…

Here she is on The Gadget Show:

And mucking around on 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown:

And playing a fairly soggy Innuendo Bingo on Radio 1…