Numbers game behind countdown to Vorderman exit

COUNTDOWN presenter Carol Vorderman will be a “true professional” when she returns to filming despite the bitter row that prompted her to quit, her manager said yesterday.

Vorderman announced on Friday that she was leaving the show, claiming 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 a third, in line with the show’s 33% budget cut.

Her former co-presenter, Richard Whiteley, died in 2005 and 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 Miles.

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

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

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.

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