Ratings rise with new 'Countdown' pair
Published Jan 22 2009, 16:24 GMT | By Simon Reynolds Countdown
has seen its viewership increase since the departure of Carol Vorderman and Des O'Connor, reports The Mirror
Ratings for the Channel 4 quiz show, now fronted by Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling
and newcomer Rachel Riley, have risen by 11% after the new series debuted ten days ago. The first show attracted an audience of 1.3 million and has averaged 1.1 million in subsequent episodes, putting it above 2008's figures.
"We are delighted," a Channel 4 spokesman said. "Jeff and Rachel make a fantastic team."
A show insider acknowledged that the new series has had to overcome initial problems.
"In Rachel's first batch of filming she was a little nervous and camera-shy," the source said. "But she has improved massively and has more confidence now so I am sure she will help to attract many more male viewers to the show.
"She is beautiful and has the maths brains needed, so she is a big factor in the show's new success. Jeff also seems to be helping get new viewers - possibly football fans - tune in for the first time and try the quiz."