Susie Dent’s Countdown co-star Rachel Riley steps in when her ‘worries spiral’

Steph McGovern challenges Susie Dent to a game of ‘word up’

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Susie Dent, 55, revealed that feeling “worried” has been a huge “blight” on her life, as she often can begin to “spiral” with her anxieties. The Countdown star admitted sometimes her colleague Rachel Riley has to step in and “make her stop” fearing the worst.

I was frozen with fear

Susie Dent

Opening up on her nerves after landing a role on the hugely popular TV show Countdown, Susie said: “I just assumed that I would be absolutely rubbish at it. 

“And in fact, the evidence for me being right about that is there on YouTube, where you can see my fairly rubbish first performance.

“I was frozen with fear, and that made me look slightly arrogant. I really wasn’t, I was just so nervous. 

“I barely moved my head,” she added in an interview with The Big Issue.

Susie joined Countdown in 1992 where she quickly became a household name, but she admitted often being plagued by “worry” throughout her life.

She continued: “I think the big blight on my life has been worry.

“About health, money, my kids, those kind of things, as Rachel Riley will tell you, because she’s brilliant at telling me to stop. But I do let worries spiral.”

The 55-year-old hosts the programme alongside Rachel Riley and Nick Hewer. She and her female co-star also work on spin-off show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown together.

Susie divulged that the maths whizz is usually determined to solve conundrums on her own and won’t accept any help from colleagues.

She explained to OK! Magazine: “It really matters to Rachel, so if she hasn’t got the numbers round then you can’t talk to her for however many minutes she needs to be in her own world and get it. 

“She also doesn’t want anybody to help her! It really, really matters to her that she gets it and I think that’s such a great thing!” she added in the same interview.

The pair are also close friends off-screen, with Susie describing Rachel as “amazing”.

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She continued: “Rachel is amazing, as is Nick Hewer! It was a tough time at the beginning, having a complete change of personnel, I felt quite nervous about it.

“She was brilliant from the start, I admire her work and she is also incredibly kind.

“Plus she is loads of fun! She is a very good friend to have and I’m glad that comes across on both shows.

“It’s a cliche to say we’re all one big family, but it really is! I really missed them all during lockdown,” she finished.

Countdown began filming last year following the easing of the first lockdown without a studio audience.

While Rachel revealed to The Mirror at the time: “When we go back we won’t have any audience, unfortunately. 

“But like the rest of the country, we are just going to play it by ear. 

“When we are in the studio we should be able to be socially distanced as there is the space. The space in the studio is okay, we can mic ourselves up.”

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