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Countdown confirms presenter Colin Murray will remain permanently employed

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Colin Murray has been named as the newest presenter to sit in the host’s chair during teatime favorite quiz show Countdown – following in the footsteps of Anne Robinson, who recently left after just a year, Nick Hewer and, the show’s favourite, the late Richard Whiteley.

There’s no doubt about Murray’s solid intellect, and the star clearly already has the support of co-hosts Rachel Riley and Susie Dent after his successful stint as quizmaster – but he’s arguably the show’s most unlikely host yet.

The Northern Ireland broadcaster, 45, made a name for himself interviewing Britpop rock stars, along with Radio 1 co-host Edith Bowman in the 1990s, before turning to sports, Match of the Day 2 and his own TalkSport. show presented.

The star was clearly a laughing stock, once joining charity runners in his native Northern Ireland stripped down to a lime green mankini, and in 2006 he was photographed flinging his underwear into the audience as he stood on stage in a kilt. during Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

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Teatime transition: Northern Irish broadcaster Colin Murray has been confirmed as Countdown’s new regular presenter following Anne Robinson’s takeover as temporary presenter in July

The former Radio 1 star called the quiz show his 'fav show ever'... but for die-hard fans, the new quizmaster could be a surprising choice

The former Radio 1 star called the quiz show his ‘fav show ever’… but for die-hard fans, the new quizmaster could be a surprising choice

Confirmation!  The Match Of The Day 2 presenter, 45, shared the news on his Twitter page on Tuesday after mounting speculation that he would be taking on the role.

Confirmation! The Match Of The Day 2 presenter, 45, shared the news on his Twitter page on Tuesday after mounting speculation that he would be taking on the role.

In announcing his latest presenter role, the new quizmaster used a football analogy, writing: ‘Earn respect for the locker room (Susie Dent and Rachel Riley), get some points on the board, try to win a trophy! 75 games to get it right!

‘Absolute honour. Favorite show ever. July 14 to early Nov. #Countdown.’

Murray confirmed he was already shooting episodes of the beloved show when he shared a clip of his new dressing room to the tune of Endor’s Pump It Up.

His career has not been without high-profile controversy, however; he left the BBC after a homophobic prank on Clare Balding – and walked away from a lucrative job at TalkSport in protest of the radio station being bought by Newscorp, which owns The Sun; Murray is a passionate Liverpool fan.

Murray was back at home at the UK music festivals - pictured here with Spongebob Squarepants at the V Festival in 2004

Murray was back at home at the UK music festivals – pictured here with Spongebob Squarepants at the V Festival in 2004

Murray goes native and throws his underwear to the crowd at Radio 1 Big Weekend, Camperdown Park, Dundee, Scotland in 2006.

The broadcaster at Glastonbury in 2005

Murray threw his underwear into the crowd during the 2006 Radio 1 Big Weekend in Dundee, Scotland. Right: The announcer in pink boots at Glastonbury in 2005

The star, who was kicked out of high school for disruptive behavior, saw his journalism career take off after being chosen to co-host a Radio 1 show with Edith Bowman, pictured left.

The star, who was kicked out of high school for disruptive behavior, saw his journalism career take off after being chosen to co-host a Radio 1 show with Edith Bowman, pictured left.

He attended Regent House Grammar School and Dundonald High School before entering journalism.  Pictured: Murray at V Fest, 2011

He attended Regent House Grammar School and Dundonald High School before entering journalism. Pictured: Murray at V Fest, 2011

Murray grew up in the Ballybeen Housing Estate, in Dundonald on the outskirts of East Belfast. He attended Dundonald High School but was asked to leave the latter after enraging teachers with questions and ill-timed jokes.

His career in journalism started when he started as a trainee reporter with the Ulster News Letter before joining BBC Radio 1’s Session In Northern Ireland. He only got the job after going to a five minute casting for what he thought was a spot on BBC Radio Ulster.

Once in the BBC flyer, the work came thick and fast, with a Radio 1 show co-hosted with Edith Bowman in the early 1990s where the star interviewed rock stars including Dave Grohl and Noel Gallagher.

Noel Gallagher being interviewed by Colin Murray at the 2006 Q Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on October 30, 2006 in London

Noel Gallagher being interviewed by Colin Murray at the 2006 Q Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on October 30, 2006 in London

Rock stars to conundrums: Noel Gallagher being interviewed by Colin Murray at the 2006 Q Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on October 30, 2006 in London

Murray (2010 match coverage photo) grew up on the Ballybeen Housing Estate in Dundonald, on the outskirts of East Belfast, and broke into journalism after being asked to drop out of high school

Murray (2010 match coverage photo) grew up on the Ballybeen Housing Estate in Dundonald, on the outskirts of East Belfast, and broke into journalism after being asked to drop out of high school

A year later he also became a TV anchor for Channel 5’s live coverage of the European UEFA Cup and in 2010 Murray began presenting Match of the Day 2 on the BBC and covering the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South -Africa.

His career took off when he co-hosted Glastonbury on both BBC Three and Radio 1 and even hosted Top Of The Pops.

However, his BBC prospects faltered in 2013 when he read a homophobic joke about fellow BBC star Clare Balding on the show Fighting Talk.

He read from a card the words, “Give me 20 minutes with her and I’m pretty sure I can flip Clare Balding.” and told The Times this week that he immediately regretted it.

Murray said, ‘As soon as it left my mouth I’m like ‘F***’. It was definitely a bad time, but I got a piece of paper and read it aloud. That is it. That’s all I did.’

A month later he was moved from Match of the Day 2 and resigned from BBC Radio 5 Live before joining rival TalkSport.

He was successful there, but the Liverpool fan left and returned to BBC Radio 5’s Fighting Talk in 2016 after The Sun owner Rupert Murdoch bought TalkSport – a personal protest against newspaper coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

Murray joins Susie Dent and Rachel Riley on Countdown after just a year of former The Weakest Link host Anne Robinson hosting the show

Murray joins Susie Dent and Rachel Riley on Countdown after just a year of former The Weakest Link host Anne Robinson hosting the show

Exit: It comes after Anne revealed she quit Countdown over a wage dispute and said she insisted that Susie Dent and Rachel Riley's 'noisy' microphones be turned off

Exit: It comes after Anne revealed she quit Countdown over a wage dispute and said she insisted that Susie Dent and Rachel Riley’s ‘noisy’ microphones be turned off

Back again?  Bookmakers have tipped Carol Vorderman and Rachel Riley as favorites to replace Anne Robinson as the main presenter after number one favorite Richard Osman put himself out of the running

Hope: Carol, who was the show's mathematician for 26 years (pictured in 1984), told fans this week it would be

Back again? Bookmakers have tipped Carol Vorderman and Rachel Riley as favorites to replace Anne Robinson as the main presenter after number one favorite Richard Osman put himself out of the running

Countdown’s previous presenters were the late Richard Whiteley (1982 to 2005), Des Lynam (2005 to 2006), the late Des O’Connor (2007 to 2008), Jeff Stelling (2009 to 2011), Nick Hewer (2012 to 2021) and Anne Robinson (2021 to 2022).

It was revealed that Anne would be leaving the show after just a year by The Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff, and Anne has since said she was quitting due to a wage dispute.

The Countdown cast is said to be “relieved” that Anne has left after reports of an on-set feud with Rachel Riley – whom Anne reportedly found “too noisy” – and Susie Dent.

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