Nick Hewer on quitting ‘tough’ Countdown gig: ‘I haven’t looked forward to the filming’

Countdown: Nick Hewer on how he solved his ‘insomnia’

Nick Hewer, 76, shared that he had a “wonderful time” hosting Countdown during his 10 years on the show.However, the presenter has said that as he has got older it has become “a tough gig” as he would record five shows a day in a three-day block.

Countdown’s a tough gig

Nick Hewer

Nick said: “Much as I’ve had a wonderful time hosting a truly great show, lately I haven’t looked forward to the intensity of the filming. 

“Countdown’s a tough gig for an old’un, 250 shows a year with five shows recorded every day in three-day blocks and I’ve now been doing it for nearly a decade.”

Recording for the popular show has seen the former The Apprentice advisor non-stop travelling up and down the UK.

He continued: “I’ve travelled up to the Granada Studios in Manchester — and more recently to the glamorous Media City in Salford — so often that I know the route blindfolded. 

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“And it feels like I haven’t spent more than a couple of nights a week sleeping in my own bed for the past 10 years,” he added to The Daily Mail.

The star has spent much of lockdown with his partner Catherine in their rural Northamptonshire farmhouse.

The couple have been together for 20 years and he admitted that it was a “pleasure” to spend more time with her.

He admitted: “I also started to think about the future, about encroaching old age — when you’re 76, it’s a slow descent through twinges and aches until things start dropping off — and about what I really wanted to do. “

It comes as Nick announced he would be stepping down from Countdown at the beginning of the month.

The presenter, took over from Sky Sports journalist Jeff Stelling in 2011 before his first episode was broadcast in 2012.

He said in a statement that the COVID-19 lockdown had made him think about what he wants to do in the future.

On Twitter, he wrote: “Delighted to be back in the Countdown studio after another enforced lockdown.

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“BUT this latest lockdown has given me an opportunity to consider my future life and I’ve decided it’s a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year.” 

“As someone in his 77th year who will be in his 10th year hosting the great British institution that is Countdown, I think it’s time to smell the flowers and get a dog.”

Nick said it had been “a privilege and a pleasure” hosting the Guinness World Record-holding show and that he would still be on screen “well into 2021”.

He continued: “Let me thank the broadcasters Channel 4, the truly dedicated and unwaveringly professional studio crew and production staff at ITV Studios who make the programmes.

“All 250 or so a year, my wonderfully talented co-hosts Susie Dent and Rachel Riley but above all, the quirky genius of producer Damian Eadie, who never ceases to amuse and who always demands the best of us.”

“And a sincere thanks to our loyal viewers and of course the legions of contestants who battle their brains out for the chance of carrying off the Richard Whiteley Trophy or a priceless teapot.”

Nick also previously appeared on The Apprentice as an advisor to Sir Alan Sugar from 2005 to 2014.

Countdown continues Monday at 2.10pm on Channel 4.

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