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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Des Lynam to take over Countdown
Des Lynam
Des Lynam used to be the face of BBC Sport
Former sports presenter Des Lynam is to be the new host of Channel 4's daytime quiz show Countdown.

Lynam will take over the role which was previously held by Richard Whiteley, who died in June.

The 63-year-old fronted sports programmes on the BBC for many years until he defected to ITV in 1999. He left the network in 2004.

Since then, he has fronted The World's Greatest Sporting Legend for Sky One, and hosted a Radio Five Live talk show.

Together with co-host Carol Vorderman, Whiteley presented Countdown for 23 years until his death aged 61 following heart surgery.

Carol Vorderman and Richard Whiteley
Vorderman and Whiteley hosted Countdown together

The words and numbers game was the first show to air on Channel 4 when it launched in 1982.

He said: "Channel 4 came to me out of the blue and I was flattered and surprised to be asked to present Countdown - a show of which I have always been a fan.

"It will be a hugely difficult task to replace Richard Whiteley but I'm very much looking forward to working with Carol Vorderman who, I am sure, will lead me by the hand and steer me through it."

Vorderman said: "Des and I have known each other for nearly 10 years and we've always got on really well.

"All the Countdown family has missed the programme and our wonderful Countdown viewers have been so supportive.

"Des has always been a Countdown viewer and had a huge respect for Richard. In that we find great comfort."

Presenter Richard Whiteley dies
26 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Vorderman honours 'Mr Countdown'
27 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Lynam 'too old' to front TV sport
16 Aug 04 |  Entertainment

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