'Countdown' names 40th anniversary guest hosts including Floella Benjamin and Moira Stuart

Baroness Floella Benjamin and Moira Stuart will guest host Countdown. (Getty)
Baroness Floella Benjamin and Moira Stuart will guest host Countdown. (Getty)

Countdown is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a star line-up of guest hosts over a month of special episodes.

The quiz show is Channel 4's longest-running programme, having launched together in November 1982, so is the jewel in its current 40 years of broadcasting celebration.

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Helping to mark the milestone is a big-name cast of guest hosts, with Baroness Floella Benjamin, Sir Trevor McDonald, Reverend Richard Coles and Moira Stuart all set to present a week of episodes each.

Marverine Cole, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE with Sir Trevor McDonald and Lemn Sissay OBE.
Sir Trevor McDonald guest hosted Countdown in 2021. (Channel 4)

All Countdown fans, they will take over hosting duties in November and join series regulars Rachel Riley on maths questions and Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner.

This isn't the first time Sir Trevor has hosted the daytime quiz – in 2021, he presented an episode for Channel 4's Black to Front Project.

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Countdown's current host is Colin Murray, who recently took over from Anne Robinson after a year in the role as the show's first female presenter.

Other regular hosts over the years have included Richard Whiteley who originally presented it, followed by Des Lynam, Des O'Connor, Jeff Stelling and Nick Hewer.

Reverend Richard Coles
Reverend Richard Coles will also host for a week. (Getty Images)

Carol Vorderman was the resident maths whizz before Riley took over in 2008.

As usual, Dent will be joined by a number of celebrity guests in Dictionary Corner throughout November.

For Baroness Benjamin's week, Judge Rob Rinder will be in Dictionary Corner, followed by former BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker in Reverend Coles' week, University Challenge quizzer Bobby Seagull with Sir Trevor, and Christopher Biggins will join Stuart.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23:  Rob Rinder attends the launch of Rylan Clark's new book
Rob Rinder will join Dictionary Corner. (Getty Images for Orion Books)

Jo Street, head of daytime and features at Channel 4, said: We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming these national treasures to the Countdown hotseat to mark this 40th anniversary milestone and are equally delighted to have enticed the remarkable Sir Trevor McDonald back to Salford.

"Countdown is a much loved institution, and we couldn’t imagine Channel 4 without it. Here’s to the next 40!”

The month of special episodes begins on Monday, 31 October with Baroness Benjamin at 2.10pm on weekdays.

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