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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 September 2006, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Des Lynam quits TV Countdown quiz
Carol Vorderman and Des Lynam
Des Lynam will step down after a year as Countdown's host

Des Lynam will leave TV quiz Countdown at Christmas, his agent has confirmed.

Jane Morgan said Lynam - who took over as presenter following the death of Richard Whiteley - had "thoroughly enjoyed" being on the Channel 4 show.

Lynam, 64, told the Daily Mirror he would go now to "save the wear and tear". Co-host Carol Vorderman said he was "amazing" and was a hit with fans.

Discussions about moving filming from Leeds to London, to make it easier for Lynam, have now been scrapped.

Many fans of the show had been angered by the possibility that the word and numbers quiz would leave its original home in West Yorkshire.

'Good shape'

Mrs Morgan said: "There was talk about moving it to London as both of the presenters live in the South but he was very concerned about how it would disrupt people who had been working on the show for many years.

"He is very sad as he has thoroughly enjoyed it and has had a great time. He has done it for nearly a year and a half and is leaving the show in pretty good shape, I think."

Carol Vorderman and Richard Whiteley
Vorderman and Whiteley's double act was a hit with afternoon viewers
Lynam travelled 250 miles from his home in Worthing, West Sussex, to the studios in Leeds.

He told the Mirror: "We do five shows in a day which everybody finds extremely tiring. It's the sort of schedule I don't want to commit myself to any more."

The quiz was the first show on Channel 4 when it launched in 1982.

Whiteley - who was the host for 23 years - died days after undergoing heart surgery last June.

Vorderman said it had been "lovely" to work with Lynam.

She said: "He has done an amazing job since taking over following our dreadful loss when Richard died.

"Countdowners have stayed loyal and supportive of the Countdown family and for that we are eternally grateful."

No names have yet been suggested for a replacement.

Lynam Countdown debut draws 1.8m
01 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Lynam reveals Countdown anxiety
24 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Des Lynam to take over Countdown
23 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Vorderman honours 'Mr Countdown'
27 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Presenter Richard Whiteley dies
26 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Lynam 'too old' to front TV sport
16 Aug 04 |  Entertainment

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