'Countdown's replacement for Carol Vorderman is “drop-dead gorgeous” and will be a big hit, the show’s new host said today.
Jeff Stelling, who takes over from Des O’Connor, also described Oxford maths graduate Rachel Riley, the new brains of 'Countdown', as beautiful and clever.
The 53-year-old host of Sky Sport’s 'Soccer Saturday' is old enough to be Miss Riley’s father but that has not stopped him swooning over his co-host.
In an interview, Stelling said of Riley: “She’s drop-dead gorgeous, and clever with it.
“She’s 22, blonde, beautiful, an Oxford maths graduate, very confident - she’ll be a big, big hit.”
He added: “I’m the man who stops and starts the clock. Rachel has the brains, she does the calculations, she’s got the looks ... and I start the clock.”
'Countdown' relaunches next Monday on Channel 4, with Stelling and Riley replacing Des O’Connor and Carol Vorderman.
Stelling also promised not to replicate the frenetic pace of 'Soccer Saturday' on 'Countdown'.
He said: “This is completely different and I’ll be interested to see the public’s reaction, apart from, ’Who the heck are you?’.
“They’ll probably just think it’s still Des O’Connor, but with a facelift and having put on about four stone, maybe.”
He added: “My only concern – initially, anyway – was that I might lose credibility in sporting terms.
“People within sport might look upon me as the game-show host, which is the last thing I want.
“But since I took the job the reaction from within football has been fantastic. I’m told Sir Alex Ferguson’s a big fan, and people like Ron Atkinson have been guests before.
“George Best used to watch 'Countdown' religiously, so I feel like it has a certain kudos.”