Shielding Nick Hewar replaced by Colin Murray on 'Countdown' due to coronavirus concerns

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·2 min read
'Countdown' host Nick Hewer is on the COVID vulnerable list due to his age. (PA)
'Countdown' host Nick Hewer is on the COVID vulnerable list due to his age. (PA)

Countdown presenter Nick Hewer has said Colin Murray will step in to replace him on the popular gameshow while he “shields at home” during lockdown.

The former Apprentice star has been the Channel 4 show’s regular host since he replaced Jeff Stelling in 2012.

But the 76-year-old said he will be stepping back from the show, joking that his family had “handcuffed me to a radiator”.

Read more: Nick Hewer outlines Countdown’s coronavirus safety measures

However, Hewer fans can rest assured the change is only temporary, as the presenter asked Murray to “keep my chair warm”.

He tweeted to tell followers of the move on Monday.

Colin Murray arriving for the Sony Radio Academy Awards, at Grosvenor House Hotel in central London.   (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Colin Murray arriving for the Sony Radio Academy Awards, at Grosvenor House Hotel in central London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

He wrote: “Good luck to Colin Murray, popular dictionary corner guest and Countdown fanatic, who takes over from me as host today and for the rest of Covid Lockdown recordings (although I’ll still be on your screens for a week or two) as this 76 year old shields at home - in spite of the amazing military-style safety protocols put in place by ITV Studios and Channel4.”

He added: “Between you and me, I’d have confidently carried on, but the family has handcuffed me to a radiator, saying ‘you’re not going anywhere’. So have fun Colin and keep my chair warm for me.”

Murray tweeted to show his gratitude for Hewer’s best wishes.

He wrote: “That’s so very kind of you and much appreciated! You have calmed my nerves somewhat, so thank you! I shall make sure to keep your dressing room spotless! Love to the family.”

Northern Ireland-born Murray is known for his radio and TV work, including stints on TalkSport, 5 Live and Match of the Day.

He joked to followers that stepping in to fill Hewer’s shoes was a sign he has “passed into adulthood”.

Countdown airs weekday afternoons on Channel 4.

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