Carol Vorderman has made the sensational admission that a forged signature by her own mother proved to be the catalyst for her showbiz career.
Speaking as the guest host of Channel 4 show, Steph's Packed Lunch, the 62-year old said she had no prospect of a career in television after graduating from Cambridge University with an engineering degree in the early 1980s.
However, that all changed when her mum, Jean, wrote an application letter to Channel 4 in her daughter's name.
READ MORE: Carol Vorderman, 62, bends over in catsuit and leather harness as fans left sweating
Opening the show, Carol revealed it was 41 years ago to the month that she first recorded Countdown "a mile down the road in Leeds", which was the first ever programme to air on the channel.
Resident chef Theo Michaels introduced a clip from that day – November 2, 1982 – before declaring that Carol looks "better now".
It prompted the Welsh beauty to explain: "It was a very 1980s look. I had been into makeup, but had never been into makeup before.
"We'd moved to Leeds and obviously we had no money and my mum saw in the Yorkshire Evening Post this this thing about a new show called Countdown that was going to be on a new channel, called Channel 4.
"And I was always good at maths – I went to Cambridge and I'd done engineering there and she said 'oh you should do that' but I told her 'don't be daft mum'.
"But she wrote a letter, forged my signature, sent it in and then she told me what happened and that's where it all started."
Carol went on to star on Countdown from its 1982 inception with late host Richard Whiteley until 2008.
Over the course of the 26-year stint she made 4,832 appearances on the show as an arithmetician, and one as a contestant.
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Last week, meanwhile, Carol made another startling Countdown admission as she revealed contestants would be forced to find an alternative word if they had opted to play with one which was dubbed "rude".
"Some [rude words] did come up, and we would have to keep a straight face," Carol explained on the Off Menu podcast. "It was all about keeping a straight face.
"You know, in the early days they would go, 'No, cut, cut, cut', and we would have to do it again. If it was allowed, we would have to re-record it and give [them] a different seven."
Steph's Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4
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