Tuesday 24 April 2018

Countdown conundrum: How can presenters Rachel Riley and Nick Hewer get on

Countdown Presenter, Rachel Riley
Countdown Presenter, Rachel Riley

Richard Eden

RACHEL Riley and Nick Hewer are said to be struggling to develop a genial working relationship on the Channel 4 quiz show Countdown.

As Lord Sugar's right-hand man on The Apprentice, Nick Hewer is used to abrasive communications. In his new role as the host of Countdown, he is, however, said to be struggling to forge a genial working relationship with his colleague Rachel Riley.

Members of the Channel 4 quiz show’s production team claim that the 26-year-old Oxford graduate has not warmed to Hewer, 68, since he took over from Jeff Stelling earlier this year. “She does not get Hewer’s sense of humour,” says one of them.

The crew allegedly “cringe” at the way in which Riley talks to the former public relations man. She was very friendly with Stelling, 57, who started on the programme at the same time as her in 2009.

The mathematician has done little to play down suggestions of tensions with remarks that she has made about Hewer to Hello!, which usually publishes only flattering comments.

“Like most families, we do have our fights,” she tells the feel-good magazine. “It’s like the blind leading the blind. Nick always says he has imposter syndrome. He has no confidence, but we get loads of nice letters about him. He needs a boost.”

The former data analyst, who is due to marry Jamie Gilbert, a computer tycoon, this summer, adds that there is “definitely a generation gap” between her and Hewer. “Half the time he hasn’t got a clue what I’m talking about and vice versa,” she says.

A spokesman for Countdown, the final of which will be broadcast on Friday, declines to comment.


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