Fan-favourite Colin Murray named as Countdown host

Colin Murray has confirmed he is to remain as the permanent host of Countdown, the UK’s longest running TV quiz show. The show continues to delight viewers with December 2022 securing the best month’s share for the series in over a decade.


Colin Murray

Colin, who has hosted the show since summer 2022, confirmed the news today on Channel 4’s live daily show Steph’s Packed Lunch. 

Colin said:   “It’s a career dream to be named as permanent anchor of one of television's most iconic programmes. I have been a fan since day one, been part of the family for over a decade, appearing on Dictionary Corner, and now I get the honour of guiding it into a fifth decade.  However, I just don’t want Countdown to survive, I want it to thrive. During my caretaker stint we’ve seen more people tune back in, with close to a million [0.9m] watching the series final in December, and I want that to just be the beginning.

“Countdown is a special show, and its stars will always be the letters and the numbers, but it’s more than that. Great afternoon company for people of all ages from all across the UK. Rachel, Susie and I are very excited for the year ahead. If you haven’t watched in a while, drop by and join us. Everyone is welcome.”

Channel 4’s Head of Daytime and Features, Jo Street, said:   “We have listened to the fans. Many have written in to let us know how much they love Colin on the show, and so I am delighted to be able to confirm that he is staying in the hotseat alongside lexicographer Susie Dent and maths whiz Rachel Riley MBE. “

Peter Gwyn, Executive Producer, Lifted Entertainment, said:    "We are thrilled that Colin is our new permanent host. His boundless energy, infectious humour and genuine love for the programme have really struck a chord with our viewers, and he, Rachel and Susie are the perfect team to take this iconic show into the future."

Produced by Lifted Entertainment, part of ITV Studios, Countdown is one of the longest running quiz shows in the world. Airing on weekdays at 2:10pm the show was the first programme to be broadcast on Channel 4 when it launched 40 years ago, and since then over 7000 episodes have aired. The show is commissioned for Channel 4 by Jayne Stanger.

Colin is the show’s seventh permanent host, taking over hosting duties from Anne Robinson who stepped down last summer. Previous hosts have included Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O’Connor, Jeff Stelling, and Nick Hewer. As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations last year, special guests Baroness Floella Benjamin, Sir Trevor McDonald, Reverend Richard Coles and Moira Stuart each hosted a week of episodes.



Notes to editors

Across December 2022, Countdown averaged 0.5m / 8.8% over its 17 eps. This was the show’s best month’s share for the regular series of Countdown in over a decade, just marginally behind November 2012 to 3.d.p [Nov ’12: 8.797% across 21 eps vs Dec ’22: 8.796%].

23rd December’s episode [0.9m / 12.98%] was the biggest episode of Countdown for Inds share since 5th October 2010 [13.02%].

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