Nick takes Countdown’s top spot

Nick Hewer on the set of the TV quiz

Nick Hewer on the set of the TV quiz

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County celebrity Nick Hewer welcomed in a “new era” for one of the world’s longest running game shows as he took over the reins of Channel 4’s Countdown this week.

The Northamptonshire-based personality, hosting the new series of the 30-year-old show for the first time, addressed viewers at the start of the show to say how delighted he was to be in the seat.

He said: “I am so proud to be sitting in the chair that the great Richard Whiteley sat in for all those years, I am going to do as well as I possibly can to justify my place here.”

Mr Hewer, who shot to fame on BBC’s The Apprentice, is the show’s fifth presenter and succeeds Jeff Stelling.

Mr Stelling left Countdown after less than three years in the hotseat to concentrate on his presenting role at Sky Sports.