Rachel Riley MBE

Rachel Riley MBE

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Resident mathematician and letter-selector on the daytime TV institution Countdown, and its irreverent spin-off 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Rachel has also co-hosted programmes from The Gadget Show to Sky Sport’s Friday Night Football to a Dispatches edition examining how maths is taught in schools.


Rachel Riley is the resident mathematician and letter-selector on Countdown, and its irreverent spin-off 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Aside from the words-and-sums quiz shows Rachel has co-hosted The Gadget Show and It’s Not Rocket Science. A keen football fan, she also co-hosted Sky Sports’ Friday Night Football for a season and has appeared on Football Focus.

Rachel joined the daytime TV institution at just 22, after studying mathematics at Oxford and a brief spell analysing statistics for a price comparison company. She replaced the long-standing co-host Carol Vorderman after beating 1,000 other hopefuls to the role. As well as the more serious version of Channel 4’s longest-running show, Rachel is also a key part of the comedy version, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, frequently the foil (and equal) to Jimmy Carr’s barbed comments.

In addition to her regular appearances Rachel has also cropped up on Room 101, Top Gear, Would I Lie To You, and Celebrity Mastermind. She played herself in a cameo in Channel 4’s comedy The IT Crowd, and has been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

A keen advocate of encouraging children to study maths and science, Rachel presented an edition of the current affairs series Dispatches, Kids Don’t Count, examining the increase in school children struggling with maths. She is also a part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme aimed at helping 5-to-15-year-olds achieve on and off the sports field.

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