Countdown host Nick Hewer has announced that he will be temporarily stepping down from the Channel 4 show while the team records new episodes during lockdown.
The 76-year-old will be staying at home whilst upcoming episodes are filmed, with regular dictionary corner guest Colin Murray taking over hosting duties.
Writing on Twitter, Hewer said: “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 (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 Channel 4.”
“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,” he added.
,,,,,,the amazing military-style safety protocols put in place by ITV Studios and Channel4. 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
— Nick Hewer (@Nick_Hewer) November 9, 2020
Countdown’s Rachel Riley took to Twitter to comment on Hewer’s announcement, writing: “Stay safe TV husband! And good luck temporary TV boyfriend @ColinMurray.”
Hewer has hosted Countdown since 2012, replacing sport presenter Jeff Stelling after his departure.
The presenter appeared as Lord Alan Sugar’s adviser on reality series The Apprentice from 2005 to 2014 before becoming the fifth host of Countdown, which first aired in 1982.
His temporary replacement, Colin Murray, is best known for hosting Match of the Day 2 and his own show on BBC Radio 5 Live.