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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Roisin O'Connor

Carol Vorderman reacts to Countdown fan ‘earpiece’ theory

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Carol Vorderman has responding to a long-running fan theory about the popular quiz show Countdown.

The Welsh TV and radio host, 63, rose to fame when she joined the Channel 4 gameshow in 1982, serving as assistant presenter until 2008.

In an interview with The Observer,Vorderman apparently laughed when questioned about a fan theory that she used an earpiece for advice about the sums she was tasked with on Countdown.

“I could see the answer to the numbers,” she responded. “I see it – in the way that some people can see the conundrum. So it’s patterns for me, rather than calculation.

“If you said, ‘Right, you’ve got to go on telly live and do some Countdown games,’ I would be half the speed that I used to be. But if I devoted a week just to Countdown games, I’d get back to speed. I’d have to get that muscle going again, those synapses going. But I’d go, ‘Yep, bring it on.’ I’d love a challenge like that.”

Vorderman stepped down from her role on the show in 2008, when she was replaced by Rachel Riley.

Last month, she announced that she had been forced out of her BBC Radio Wales show due to the broadcaster’s new social media guidelines.

Vorderman, who had hosted the Saturday morning programme since 2018, said she had decided to “continue to criticise the UK government” following the crackdown on presenters airing their personal views on social media.

“I was brought up to fight for what I believe in, and I will carry on,” Vorderman said, revealing that, “consequently, I have now breached the new guidelines and BBC Wales management have decided I must leave,” Vorderman said on X/Twitter.

“After five years, I’m leaving my Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Wales. The BBC recently introduced new social media guidelines which I respect. However, despite my show being lighthearted with no political content, it was explained to me that as it is a weekly show in my name, the new guidelines would apply to all and any content that I post all year round.”

The presenter said that, as these changes to her radio contract were “non-negotiable”, she “ultimately found that I'm not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in”.

In a statement to The Independent, the BBC said: “Carol has been a presenter on BBC Radio Wales since 2018. We’d like to thank her for her work and contribution to the station over the past five years.”

Addressing her exit from her BBC Radio Wales show, Vorderman told The Observer: “I thought: ‘No, you’re trying to close me down, I’ve tried to do what… Well, I’ve half-tried to do what you’ve said for about four weeks. No, you’re trying to close me down.’

“So I knew what I wasn’t allowed to say and I said it all: ‘Here’s a list of words you can’t use…’”

Miming typing on a computer keyboard, she concluded: “Here you go! Resignation by Twitter really. And sure enough, that’s what happened.”

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