Gyles Brandreth opens up on his podcast with Susie Dent in 2020

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One name that was previously rumoured to be fronting the show was regular panellist Gyles Brandreth. The 73-year-old is often seen playing the game alongside maths whizz Rachel Riley, 35, and lexicographer Susie Dent, 56.

On moving up to being a host, the broadcaster said he had always ruled it out as he didn’t want the commitment.

Speaking to, he said: “People used to speculate in the old days when Richard [Whiteley] died and when Carol Vorderman moved on, I hosted a special programme.

“There was lots of speculation, but the truth is, I do so many different things, I wouldn’t be able to.

“I wouldn’t want to be tied down to be doing one big thing like that.”

Gyles added the job would be “too big of a commitment” and said he prefers to do various jobs instead.

“It’s quite a hard graft, you’ve got to be there concentrating so, no,” he continued.

“I don’t think I would be [asked], it’s not quite my style, I like being a guest.”

The presenter became good friends with the show’s first host Richard, who died in 2005.

Other hosts since his death have included; Des Lynam, Des O’Connor, Jeff Stelling and Nick Hewer.

The latter left the show earlier this year following a 10-year stint in the presenting seat.

In June, he was replaced by the programme’s first ever female host Anne Robinson, 77.

On the change-up, Gyles said he believes she’s doing a good job.

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“I’m a great believer in change, change is a good thing,” he spilled.

“Everything in my view needs a bit of change now and again.”

Since our chat, reports have claimed that Anne isn’t getting along with Rachel and Susie.

Neither have addressed the alleged feud publicly, however this week the maths whizz shared her thoughts on the new host.

She told OK! Magazine: “[Anne] found her feet very quickly and soon made the show her own, she’s comfortable bantering with the contestants. She asks them a lot of questions and we get to hear from them a lot more.

“I don’t think anyone would describe Anne as cuddly. She’s very matter of fact.

“To be honest though, due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to socialise like we normally would.”

Countdown airs weekdays from 2.10pm on Channel 4.

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