Countdown presenter Nick Hewer will depart the Channel 4 series next year.
The host, who replaced Jeff Stelling back in 2011, announced the news on Twitter, saying lockdown had given him the chance to consider his future.
In a statement, Hewer said: “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 and 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,” he continued.
“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, 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.”
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.
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
— Nick Hewer (@Nick_Hewer) December 7, 2020
Hewer added: “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.”
Hewer was formerly known for his role as one of Lord Sugar’s advisers on The Apprentice, and has been a popular host of the long-running game show during his stint as presenter.
His nine years in the presenter’s chair makes him the longest-serving host of the show since Richard Whitely, the original presenter who fronted the Channel 4 show from its creation in 1982 until his death in 2005.
Other hosts of the show have includes Des Lynam, Des O’Connor and Jeff Stelling.
Meanwhile, co-hosts Rachel Riley and Susie Dent both posted to Twitter following Hewer’s announcement.
Riley joked, “Right, time to get a bingo list of things you need to slip into the show while you’re hosting @Nick_Hewer” while Dent described Hewer as “the voice of a gentleman who will be dearly missed.”