Countdown's Nick Hewer replaced as he steps down over lockdown

Countdown presenter Nick Hewer has stepped down from the show over lockdown.

The 76-year-old Apprentice star is currently shielding at home and has been temporarily replaced by popular dictionary corner guest and Radio 5 Live host Colin Murray.

Nick will still appear on-screen over the next few weeks before the transitional episodes air.

Sharing the news in a statement on social media, Nick 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.

‘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”.’

He added: ‘So have fun Colin and keep my chair warm for me.’

In May, Nick disclosed that he was doing everything in his power to remain on Countdown amid the pandemic.

‘I am slightly anxious about it, but the over 70s have seen it all and we are responsible people,’ he told Good Morning Britain.

‘I think you can trust those over 70s to be responsible, they know their vulnerability.’

Nick added: ‘I will go back [to Countdown] happily to the studio if not cautiously, I will keep my distance. But nothing will stop Countdown.’

England went into its second lockdown on Thursday, November 5 with people being urged to stay at home.

The public has also been told to avoid meeting people you don’t live with, while certain businesses and venues have been ordered to close.

These measures will remain in place until Wednesday, December 2.

Countdown airs weekdays at 2.10pm on Channel 4.

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