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Carol Vorderman: The Glamorous and Successful Career of the Ageless Countdown Host

Carol Vorderman

Carol Jean Vorderman, MBE is a famous and enduring British media personality. Carol Vorderman is best known for being the co-host of the beloved show Countdown for 26 years between 1982 and 2008. Carol Vorderman has also published numerous newspaper columns on internet topics. She has also written books on subjects ranging from school textbooks on mathematics to a #1 best-selling book on Detox diets. Carol Vorderman has also been an advocate for many charities and philanthropic organizations in life. Carol Vorderman has also hosted the Pride of England awards in honour of Britishers who have acted bravely in the face of adversity. 

Carol Vorderman’s career began in 1982 when she joined Channel 4’s Countdown show. She appeared on the show last with Des O’Connor, and previously with Des Lynam and before that Richard Whiteley (from 1982 until his death in 2005). Vorderman left the show in 2008. While she was on Countdown, Carol Vorderman started presenting other shows for various broadcasters as well. Some of the shows she presented were Better Homes and the Pride of england Awards for ITV. Carol Vorderman also guest hosted shows such as Have I Got News for You, The Sunday Night Project and Lorraine.

Carol Vorderman: All You Need to Know 

When was Carol Vorderman born?

Carol Vorderman was born on December 24th, 1960 in Bedford, Bedfordshire. Carol Vorderman was the youngest of three daughters of Dutch father Anton ‘Tony’ Vorderman (1920–2007) and Welsh mother Edwina Jean (née Davies, 1928–2017). Carol Vorderman’s parents separated within three weeks of her birth. After that, Carol Vorderman’s mother moved her daughters to her home town of Prestatyn, North Wales. Carol Vorderman grew up in a single parent household with her siblings. Vorderman didn’t see her father again until she was 42. 

Vorderman didn’t trace the Dutch side of her family until 2007 (as a part of the BBC genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?). It was only then that she discovered that her father had been an extremely active and important member of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. He died while the programme was being filmed. Her great-grandfather Adolphe Vorderman played a key role in the field of the discovery of vitamins.

Where did Carol Vorderman study?

Vorderman was educated at the Great Blessed Edward Jones Catholic highschool in Rhyl. In 1978, when she was 17, she visited Cambridge, where she studied engineering at Sidney Sussex College. Vorderman went to Cambridge as one of the youngest women students ever to be admitted at the time. 

How many children does Carol Vorderman have?

Carol Vorderman has two children with her second husband Patrick King. The couple divorced in the year 2000.

How did Carol Vorderman start her career?

Carol Vorderman initially found employment as a junior engineer at Dinorwig power plant in Llanberis, Wales, and later as a graduate management trainee in Leeds. In her spare time, she briefly served as a backing vocalist with friend Lindsay Forrest within the Leeds-based ensemble Dawn Chorus. She was also a part of the Blue Tits, fronted by radio DJ Liz Kershaw during the initial part of the1980s. Between 1984 and 1985 Carol Vorderman appeared regularly on the Peter Levy show on Radio Aire. She used to appear mid-morning and read stories for pre-school children.

In the mid-1980s Vorderman worked part-time within the Information Services Department of the United Kingdom nuclear energy authority, principally within the production of in-house video programmes.

Carol Vorderman: Television career

Countdown (1982 – 2008) 

Carol Vorderman’s mother saw a newspaper ad which asked for “a woman with good mathematical skills” to serve as the co-host on a quiz show. She submitted an application on behalf of her daughter, who was 21 at the time. Vorderman appeared on Countdown from the show’s inception in 1982 until 2008. Initially, Vorderman’s only contribution to the show was the numbers pool , and she was a part of a five-person presentation team. However, over the subsequent years, the team was pared down, and Vorderman began handling tiles for both the letters and numbers games. Carol Vorderman thus became a co host of Countdown, revealing her intellectual ability by completing fast and accurate arithmetic calculations during the numbers pool to successfully find an exact solution if neither contestant was ready to do so. Her lasting success on the show led to her becoming one of the highest-paid women on television in Britain, ultimately earning her an estimated £1 million per annum.

After Richard Whiteley

When Richard Whiteley passed away, Carol Vorderman was offered the role of the main presenter of the show. However, Carol Vorderman declined the offer. The channel started auditioning for the vacant spot and the show went on a four month hiatus. Des Lynam was eventually hired for the job in October 2005. Two years later, he was replaced by Des O’Connor. Carol Voderman co-hosted the show with both of those guys. 

On 25 July 2008, after 26 unbroken years with the show, it had been announced that Vorderman was stepping down from Countdown. She later said she had resigned after failing to agree terms with Channel 4 for a replacement contract, and it had been reported that she had been asked to require a cut of 90% from her previous salary, estimated as £900,000. Carol Voderman had started considering quitting Countdown after the death of her long time co-host Richard Whiteley. However, she stayed on the show till 2008 when Voderman and replacement host Des O’Connor stepped down together. 

Carol Vorderman’s last ever appearance on Countdown was recorded on November 13th 2008. The recording was broadcast on December 12th 2008. Both her children were present in the audience. The audience also featured many of the previous guests from “Dictionary Corner”. After leaving Countdown, Carol Vorderman continued to contribute her column to British magazine Reveal.

Loose Women 

When ITV axed Kate Thornton and Zoë Tyler from Loose Women in July 2011, Carol Vorderman and Sally Lindsay were expected to take up their position. Their hiring was confirmed soon after that and she presented Loose Women for the first time on September 5th, 2011. From September 2011 to June 2013, Vorderman and fellow Loose Women host Andrea McLean hosted two to 3 shows per week. However, after the show returned from its summer break in September 2013, she began to host one episode per week, with McLean anchoring the remaining four. On 3 October 2013, it had been announced that former Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams would be returning to the show later within the year and Ruth Langsford would join the panel in January 2014. During that time, Carol Vorderman presented the show only once every fortnight. 

On Bastille Day 2014, Vorderman announced her departure as a presenter on Loose Women. Vorderman explained her decision to depart:

“I get into the diligence for my planning and training to travel around the world next year. within the first two years on Loose I did over 100 days a year but within the last year I have only managed just over 20 days because I kept having to cancel days thanks to other work commitments. I attempted appearing on just one occasion every week up until Christmas and that I just couldn’t roll in the ha . I write tons of educational books and have an enormous maths website so my time is spent with those too. I prefer to try to do things properly and it’s unfair to plan to something half-heartedly.”

Carol Vorderman: Other television work 

Carol Vorderman has been the presenter of the annual Pride of England Awards, which are televised by ITV. She began hosting the awards since their inception in 1999.

In 2004, Carol Vorderman participated in the second series of Strictly Come Dancing. She was partnered with dancer Paul Killick. Carol Vorderman was the second celebrity elimination on that show. Carol Vorderman also went on to guest host Have I Got News for You and an episode of The Sunday Night Project. 

In 2011, Carol Vorderman also presented a total of 15 episodes of Lorraine. Carol Vorderman also appeared on ITV’s Food Glorious show as a presenter in 2013.

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