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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 15:57 GMT
O'Connor to be new Countdown host
Des O'Connor
Des O'Connor was a daytime chat show host on ITV1 until May
Des O'Connor has been confirmed as the next host of TV quiz Countdown, the longest-running programme on Channel 4.

The 74-year-old will take over at the start of next year and replaces Des Lynam, who has decided to step down after less than 18 months in charge.

O'Connor said he had "just spent a fun day" with the production team in Leeds and described co-star Carol Vorderman - who will stay on - as "a delight".

The show was hosted by Richard Whiteley for 23 years until his death in 2005.

'Right and comfortable'

Vorderman, 45, said O'Connor had so much energy and enthusiasm that "he leaves the rest of us exhausted".

"I'm really looking forward to a new year with a new Des," she said, adding that their day together recently had "just felt right and comfortable".

Carol Vorderman and Des Lynam
Mathematician Vorderman (left) is staying on the show with O'Connor
Lynam quit because he did not wish to commute from his home in Worthing, West Sussex, a journey of some 250 miles (400km).

However, veteran entertainer O'Connor - who co-presented a daytime chat show with Mel Sykes until it was axed by ITV1 in May - is intending to travel to the studios from his home in Buckinghamshire.

He landed the position following speculation that it might be awarded to Michael Aspel, Eamonn Holmes or Stephen Fry.

Those personalities had been favoured by bookmakers since Lynam's announcement in September.

Des Lynam quits TV Countdown quiz
30 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
ITV swings axe to revive channel
12 May 06 |  Entertainment
Whiteley leaves will worth 3.92m
07 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
TV's Whiteley remembered by fans
10 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Lynam Countdown debut draws 1.8m
01 Nov 05 |  Entertainment


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