Carol Vorderman emotional as she shares clip of TV debut with Richard Whiteley

Carol Vorderman has marked a special Countdown anniversary with an emotional tribute to her former co-host Richard Whiteley.

The ageless 60-year-old star celebrated 39 years since she made her television debut on the Channel 4 programme and shared a clip of herself from the first episode aged 21.

Reflecting on her 26 years on the programme, Carol shared the throwback video alongside a lengthy caption.

She wrote: “39 years ago today I started on the telly with my beloved Richard Whiteley on Countdown as the first ever show broadcast on the new channel @Channel4.

“I was 21. We had 23 cheeky happy laughing years together until he died. The clock stopped too soon and I still miss him.”

Richard passed away in 2005 after an unsuccessful emergency operation for endocarditis due to heart problems.

She added: “We were so excited about the 1st show 1982. I had a proper job then & Countdown was an extra.

“We never thought it would last beyond the 8 weeks it was booked for! I was paid £20 a show which was a fortune to me. Richard & I worked hard. I made 5,000 shows over 26 years.”

Richard had hosted Countdown from 1982 until 2005, with Carol also on the show from 1982 until 2008 in her first ever television role.

She has also appeared on the likes of Britain’s Brainiest Kid, Strictly Come Dancing, Loose Women and I’m A Celebrity over the past 30 years.

The former Countdown star regularly takes her Instagram followers behind the scenes on her showbiz ventures. She recently shared a peek at her dressing room on Saturday, hours before she took to the stage at Grosvenor House to host the Pride of Britain Awards.

Treating her fans even further, the former Countdown presenter panned her camera around a vast room at the 5-star Mayfair hotel, which was in the process of transforming into a funky bar.

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At the beginning of 2021, Carol announced she has no interest in more TV projects, saying she doesn’t “see the point” in doing more TV work.

She told the Daily Mirror: “I’m not that bothered about being on the telly any more. I worked my butt off last year and I don’t want to do it anymore.

“I was really busy, I was making a couple of new TV shows and books, plus filming new stuff for The Maths Factor.”

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