Vorderman counts on professionalism over show

'Countdown' presenter Carol Vorderman will be a “true professional” when she returns to filming despite the bitter row which prompted her to quit, her manager said today.

'Countdown' presenter Carol Vorderman will be a “true professional” when she returns to filming despite the bitter row which prompted her to quit, her manager said today.

Vorderman announced on Friday that she was leaving the show and yesterday claimed it was because she was told to take or leave a 90% pay cut.

Her manager John Miles said: “Carol knew she was being forced out and had no option but to stand down.”

Vorderman, who has worked on the Channel 4 game show for 26 years, said she had offered to accept a pay cut of one-third, in line with the show’s 33% budget cut.

Her former co-presenter, Richard Whiteley, died in 2005 and Mr Miles claimed one of the show’s bosses at ITV Productions told Vorderman: “Countdown easily survived without Richard, it can easily survive without you.”

Vorderman’s contract with the Channel 4 show runs until the end of the year and next month she will return to Leeds for filming.

She will be joined by the show’s current main host Des O’Connor who said last week he also plans to leave at the end of the year.

“Both Des and Carol are true professionals,” said Mr Miles.

“They have been in the business a long time and will go back and enjoy themselves.

“Ironically the last shows they filmed were probably the best shows they had recorded. They had great fun.”

Mr Miles, who also represents O’Connor, added: “They are looking forward to it.

“There won’t be a problem at all. It’s like a second family and nothing’s changed.”

He said Vorderman had texted each member of the production team to inform them of her decision to leave before she told the show’s bosses.

Countdown will start filming new shows at the end of August.

It usually films for around 50 days a year, in batches of three days, with five shows filmed each day.

Mr Miles said their commitment to 'Countdown' had meant both Vorderman and O’Connor had turned down other work in the past.

One of the reasons for O’Connor leaving was that he was keen to take up offers of live theatre shows which would have made it difficult for him to film 'Countdown'.

Vorderman, 47, has been with the show since it began in 1982 and was the first woman to appear on Channel 4.

Mr Miles said Vorderman had gone public about the row due to “a series of ’off the record’ media briefings that insinuated that Carol had exited the programme because she was demanding more money”.

He added: “This is not true.”

She told the News of the World: “In the right circumstances I’d have done it for free – but it was obvious they wanted me out.”

Channel 4 has declined to comment.

More in this section

#ChoosetoChallenge

Did you miss our Virtual Event with Alison O’Connor, Aoife Moore, Clodagh Finn, Derval O’Rourke and Vicky Phelan