Rachel Riley: ‘Just as filthy as you can imagine’ Countdown star in ‘rude’ show admission

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Countdown host Rachel Riley, 34, has opened up about her difficulties in trying to maintain her composure when “rude words” appear on the Channel 4 show’s board. The presenter admitted the programme’s producers and gallery are “just as filthy as you can imagine” and try to encourage a giggle from her during filming.

While speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk about hosting Sky’s National General Knowledge Test with 100 quiz questions, Rachel revealed she often catches onto cheeky phrases, which sometimes go unnoticed by her co-stars Nick Hewer and Susie Dent.

When quizzed on whether she finds it hard not to laugh when funny words are spelled out on the Countdown board, the star divulged: “All the time! 

“In my ear the producers and the gallery are just as filthy as you can imagine and they try to make me laugh. 

“There’s always rude stuff and Nick and Susie generally don’t notice some of the rude words that I might notice, so that can be funny at times.” 

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Rachel explained that although some of the racy words make it through to the final show, others are “too rude to repeat” to viewers.

She continued: “Some of them are alright on the night but a lot of them are too rude to repeat. 

“Every time there’s one rude word you get 30 rude words that have happened before.

“But it’s good daytime fun that little kids can watch with their grandparents, but sometimes you get absolute filth!”

Rachel went on to say that she hopes to continue working on Countdown in the distant future.

The mathematics expert revealed: “I love it, it’s been over 11 years now and I’m still really enjoying it. 

“Love the team and really love the numbers game and there’s different contestants coming in all the time and different dictionary corner guests so it doesn’t feel like you’re working the same day over and over.”

“It’s really good fun so as long as they’ll have me, you’ll have to carry me out of that place,” she added.

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Rachel is currently on a break from filming the Channel 4 show due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing restrictions.

She admitted she had just been getting used to juggling work on set with being a new mum, she welcomed her first daughter Maven with husband Pasha Kovalev in December, before the experience was “cut short” by the pandemic.

Rachel recalled: “We’d done almost two blocks and the baby comes up with us, so I was doing a couple of shows and then running upstairs and feeding her.

“So I was just starting to juggle the mum life and then it got cut short, so I think it will be a whole new thing when we do go back depending on how old she is.”

Although Countdown has been postponed, Rachel has been busy curating an exciting quiz to celebrate the launch of Sky TV’s factual channels Sky Nature, Sky Documentaries and Sky History.


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Sharing plans for the test, Rachel revealed: “I’m going to be doing a live Instagram takeover of Sky’s Instagram and I’m going to have six famous people who have helped to collate some of the questions to come and answer some of the questions, not obviously the ones that they’ve made themselves.

“And also on Sky’s channels there will be a link to all 100 and they will be teasing a few questions on Twitter so if you want to get them all go to Sky’s Instagram account and there will be a link to go and play and that actually takes you to the questions with a choice of answers.

“So if you’re not a mastermind egghead kind of champion then you can still play along and have a guess.”

Addressing the content of the quiz, she added: “It’s got history, geography, nature, pop culture, a bit of everything and it crosses the age ranges as well.

“So if you’re into what year did a certain President do something or if you’re into more Justin Bieber there’s something in it for you and obviously with quizzes if you’ve got your family there grab someone of a different age range and you can do it together.”

Sky Documentaries, Sky Nature and Sky HISTORY launch today, free for Sky customers. Play the National General Knowledge Test here https://app.ex.co/stories/skyush10/the-sky-national-general-knowledge-test

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