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Countdown celebrates its 40th anniversary with guest hosts

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.

Alongside its Truth & Dare Season, Channel 4 is marking 40 years of broadcasting with a special month long run of its longest running show.

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 eminent broadcasters and Countdown fans, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Sir Trevor McDonald, Reverend Richard Coles and Moira Stuart will join the show as host. The guest presenters will each take on a weeklong hosting stint, joining lexicographer Susie Dent and arithmetical whizz Rachel Riley on the show.

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.

Week One: Oct 31st to Nov 4th
Host is Baroness Floella Benjamin
Dictionary Corner Guest: Rob Rinder

Week Two: 7th Nov to 11th Nov
Host is Richard Coles
Dictionary Corner Guest: Dan Walker

Week Three: 14th Nov to 18th Nov
Host is Sir Trevor McDonald
Dictionary Corner Guest: Bobby Seagull

Week Four: 21st Nov to 25th Nov
Host is Moira Stuart
Dictionary Corner Guest: Christopher Biggins

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