Hewer has been presenting Countdown for eight years
10 November 2020

Countdown host Nick Hewer replaced by Colin Murray as former Apprentice judge shields from coronavirus

Countdown presenter Nick Hewer will be replaced by Colin Murray as host of the Channel 4 show during this month’s lockdown.

The 76-year-old, who is famous for appearing as Alan Sugar’s right-hand man on The Apprentice, is shielding during November as Britain shuts down for a second time to try and reduce the spread of Covid-19.

And Hewer announced the decision to step away from his post for a few weeks in typically humorous fashion on social media.

Murray will temporarily take over hosting duties during lockdown

(Twitter: @laurabarr38)

Speaking on Twitter, he said: "Good luck to Colin Murray, popular dictionary corner guest and Countdown fanatic, who takes over from me as host today and for the rest of Covid Lockdown recordings (although I’ll still be on your screens for a week or two) as this 76 year old shields at home in spite of the amazing military-style safety protocols put in place by ITV Studios and Channel4.

"Between you and me, I’d have confidently carried on, but the family has handcuffed me to a radiator, saying ‘you’re not going anywhere’.

"So have fun Colin and keep my chair warm for me."

Hewer became the fifth permanent host of Countdown back in 2012 after Jeff Stelling’s three-year stint as presenter came to an end.

Meanwhile, Murray’s background in TV presenting comes predominantly from sports shows such as Match of the Day 2, EFL on Quest and the BDO World Darts Coverage.

The 43-year-old Northern Irish broadcaster has also worked extensively on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT.

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