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To mark Channel 4’s 40th anniversary, iconic daytime show Countdown is set to welcome a string of new faces to the presenter’s chair for a month long run of special episodes.

Countdown is the channel’s longest running show and the first show ever broadcast on Channel 4 when it launched 40 years ago, in November 1982. To mark this special anniversary four guest presenters will each take on a weeklong hosting stint, joining lexicographer Susie Dent and arithmetical whizz Rachel Riley on the show.

They are: Baroness Floella Benjamin, Sir Trevor McDonald, Reverend Richard Coles and Moira Stuart. It is not the first time Sir Trevor has hosted the show. He returns to the Salford studio after anchoring the Black to Front Project episode in September 2021.

Joining Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner will be criminal barrister and broadcaster Rob Rinder, newsreader and presenter Dan Walker, maths genius and writer Bobby Seagull and actor and presenter Christopher Biggins.

Jo Street, Head of Daytime and Features at Channel 4: We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming these national treasures to the Countdown hotseat to mark this 40th anniversary milestone and are equally delighted to have enticed the remarkable Sir Trevor McDonald back to Salford...

"Countdown is a much loved institution, and we couldn’t imagine Channel 4 without it. Here’s to the next 40!”

Peter Gwyn, Executive Producer of Countdown for Lifted Entertainment said: “It has been a sheer pleasure working with these iconic figures to celebrate Countdown's anniversary. This birthday means so much to all of us who love the programme, and we can't wait for viewers to see our month-long series of very special shows.”

Produced by Lifted Entertainment, part of ITV Studios, Countdown was the first programme to broadcast on Channel 4. It’s been on air since its November 1982 launch making it one of the longest running quiz shows in the world. It airs weekdays at 2.10pm.

The 40th anniversary episodes of Countdown are airing this month. In November, 40 years to the day that Channel 4 started broadcasting, Paul Coia, the first Channel 4 continuity announcer who introduced Channel 4's first ever programme - Countdown - will return to introduce the show once again.


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