Nick Hewer says he had to ‘tone it down’ for Countdown after The Apprentice ‘I was severe’

Nick Hewer says he had to ‘tone it down’ for Countdown after The Apprentice ‘I was severe’

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Nick Hewer, 77, is set to step down from Countdown in May, however, the long-term show host has recalled how when he first joined the show, it was crucial for him to “tone down” the stern act he was known for on The Apprentice. The veteran Channel 4 presenter is set to be replaced by the famously acerbic former Weakest Link host, Anne Robinson, and he shared that she will have to tailor her approach to the game show, in a similar way that he had to in the early days of his tenure.

I was always a bit severe and glinty-eyed

Nick Hewer

Opening up on how he felt when he knew Anne would be taking over, Nick told “Funnily enough a paper rang me three weeks before it was announced, and I said, ‘Oh I don’t think so. I would be very surprised’. 

“As of course Anne is known primarily for Weakest Link, where she played a sort of a role in The Weakest Link, and she won’t play that role in Countdown,” he added.

Nick remains certain Anne will “tailor” her performance to suit the show’s audience, as he once did in 2012 when he signed up to host the programme.

He continued: “So she will tailor her performance to the show, I am sure, just as I did on The Apprentice. I was always a bit severe and glinty-eyed. 

“So I had to tone it down as Countdown is a very friendly family show, it’s been going for 40 years.

“It doesn’t require somebody who is going to be unkind, or critical of the contestants,“ he divulged.

Nick admitted that he will feel a “sense of bereavement” after he wraps up filming on Countdown next month.

The long-serving host of the Channel 4 quiz show also divulged it has not yet “hit him” that he is retiring, as he has continued to film alongside his co-stars Rachel Riley and Susie Dent since after Christmas.

Nick said: “Well it hasn’t sort of hit me, I’m sure I will have a sense of bereavement because I’m in my tenth year but I carry on filming until May. 

“So that means I will carry on being on screen until June or July, then it will sort of hit me I guess. 

“It has been great fun, but 10 years is long enough. Other things will pop up that are not as time-consuming. 

“Countdown was a big commitment, also I think sometimes 10 years is enough, you can’t go on forever and ever and ever,” he added.

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Speaking about his replacement, The Apprentice star is certain viewers will enjoy Anne’s unique approach to the role.

He explained: “I’m sure the fans will soon take to Anne Robinson as a duck takes to water. Countdown is the star. 

“The presenters come and go, it’s their job to look after Countdown and make sure when they hand it over to the next one it’s in just as good shape as when they picked it up. 

“That’s our job, we’re just curators,” he added.

However, it is unlikely that Nick will spend much time with his colleagues once he leaves the programme, as he admitted they “don’t all hang out”.

Nick divulged: “In the sort of showbiz world they [Rachel and Susie] are friends, but outside the studio, you don’t really run into people… you don’t sort of all go down to the pub together.

“It’s not like that, it is a job,” he said.

Opening up on his relationship with Rachel and Susie, Nick admitted they only spend time together if it is at a formal event.

He shared: “If I’m having a party they will come and vice-versa, but it’s interesting.

“It is sort of a job and I think if you ask anyone in the business, we’re not all hanging out together, not least because we’re all running around trying to earn a living.”

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