Colin Murray made his Countdown debut to temporarily replace Nick Hewer – and now fans are calling for him to become a permanent fixture.
The Radio Five Live DJ stepped in for Nick after he was forced to remain in quarantine due to being considered ‘vulnerable’.
As a semi-regular guest in Dictionary Corner alongside Susie Dent, Colin took the reins and presented the words and numbers game with Rachel Riley ready to give him a helping hand.
It was announced in December that Nick would be leaving the show after 10 years, and with Colin making his debut today, he admitted he was nervous to fill the shoes the star had left behind.
Opening the show, he said: ‘As if 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre. My name is Colin Murray and due to restrictions, I’ll be filling in for Nick Hewer for the forseeable future.
‘I’ve been a fan of this show since I was five years old, so this is an absolute dream come true.’
Even Nick Hewer had previously given him his seal of approval, telling him to ‘keep his seat warm’ until he could return.
Viewers were delighted at seeing Colin’s first efforts as the presenter, and cheered him on online as he performed hosting duties on the game show.
Now fans are calling for Colin to be Nick’s permanent Countdown replacement.
Nick is set to return to the series after the restrictions are lifted, before finishing his run in his presenting chair.
Making the announcement at the beginning of December, he said: ‘I’ve decided it’s a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year.
‘As someone in his 77th year, who will be in his 10th year hosting the great British institution that is Countdown, I think it’s time to smell the flowers and get a dog.
‘But let me now take the opportunity to say that it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to take the helm of Countdown, first broadcast back in 1982 and still a Guinness record holder.’
The official replacement is yet to be announced, but bookies had hedged their bets on Carol Vorderman, who co-hosted the show and was in charge of the letter and number boards from 1982 to 2008.
Countdown airs Monday to Wednesday at 2.10pm on Channel 4.