Honest: Anne Robinson, 77, revealed she quit Countdown over pay dispute and admits that she did insist on 'noisy' Susie Dent and Rachel Riley's mics being switched off on Wednesday

Anne Robinson reveals she quit over pay and asked for Susie Dent and Rachel Riley’s mics to be off


Anne Robinson has revealed she quit Countdown over a pay dispute and she did insist on ‘noisy’ Susie Dent and Rachel Riley’s mics being switched off.

The presenter, 77, who was employed on a freelance basis, admitted that despite being offered a pay rise, she did not want to join Channel 4’s payroll and so decided to walk away from her role as host.

It was revealed that she was leaving Countdown after just one year, earlier this week by The Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff, with Anne adding that she has since smoothed over the rift with her co-stars.

Honest: Anne Robinson, 77, revealed she quit Countdown over pay dispute and admits that she did insist on ‘noisy’ Susie Dent and Rachel Riley’s mics being switched off on Wednesday

Speaking to The Sun, she confessed: ‘I come from a long line of alcoholic, Irish bandits so to suggest I go PAYE is a bit like asking Philip Green or Richard Branson to join the company payroll.

‘I wasn’t interested in any offer on that basis. Even if it included financial parity. I will, however, miss out on the Channel 4 luncheon vouchers, which is a big regret.’

Speaking with Emma Barnett on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, she added: ‘I marched so that your generation would be really clever at negotiating your salaries and your pay, and you’re all absolutely hopeless at it. Why? It’s so easy. There’s about six steps to getting the money you want.’

Of the rift with her co-stars Rachel and Susie she admitted that she had been annoyed by their time-keeping and noisiness (Rachel and Susie pictured)

Of the rift with her co-stars Rachel and Susie she admitted that she had been annoyed by their time-keeping and noisiness (Rachel and Susie pictured)

Anne continued: ‘What happens is some bloke comes in with his friend, gives you the interview and says ‘we’re going to pay you this’, you say ‘thank you very much’. What you have to realize, they go outside and they do high fives because you’ve accepted the first offer.’

Of the rift with her co-stars Rachel and Susie she admitted that she had been annoyed by their time-keeping and noisiness.

But later said: ‘They’re both brilliant at what they do. I mean they really, really are. Channel 4 are incredibly lucky to have them. And there isn’t a rift.

‘It was me wanting everyone to be quiet in the studio. I like everyone turning up on time and quiet, quiet, quiet. So we did have to iron that out. But that’s it.’

Hard bargain: She confessed: 'I come from a long line of alcoholic, Irish bandits so to suggest I go PAYE is a bit like asking Philip Green or Richard Branson to join the company payroll'

Hard bargain: She confessed: ‘I come from a long line of alcoholic, Irish bandits so to suggest I go PAYE is a bit like asking Philip Green or Richard Branson to join the company payroll’

Anne continued: ‘I think we all came to an agreement that we would have mics off before we went into a record, which gave me time to have a chat with the contestants – that’s all – and remind them what their hobbies are.’

Describing Rachel, she said: ‘She is brilliant at those numbers, what else can I say.’

On the prospect of retirement, the former Weakest Link host, said: ‘I haven’t got any practice at it. Maybe I’ll start doing social media.

‘You know what the Queen says, mostly to women, she says ‘what’s keeping you busy?’ And that’s because they might not have a job so they can say ‘I’m playing the piano, I’m doing my garden’. So I’m going to practice how I explain I don’t have a job.’

Rift: In regards to her co-stars Anne added: 'It was me wanting everyone to be quiet in the studio.  I like everyone turning up on time and quiet.  So we did have to iron that out'

Rift: In regards to her co-stars Anne added: ‘It was me wanting everyone to be quiet in the studio. I like everyone turning up on time and quiet. So we did have to iron that out’

Anne continued: ‘It’s the first time I’ve never had a job. It’s also the first time I haven’t seen a job on the horizon. I’ve given myself a really big talking to and I’m 78 this year and I’ve really got to learn about retirement.

‘I’ve encouraged television bosses to realize that not all women at the wrong end of their 70s are in care homes playing bingo and watching conjuring tricks.’

This comes as former Countdown host Nick Hewer didn’t hold back when taking a swipe at his ex-colleague Susie after she wished Anne well on Twitter.

It came amid claims that the cast are ‘relieved’ she is leaving after reports on an on set feud with Rachel – who Anne reportedly found ‘too noisy’ – and Susie.

Awks!  It comes as former Countdown host Nick Hewer (center) didn't hold back when taking a swipe at his ex-colleague Susie (left) after she wished Anne well on Twitter

Awks! It comes as former Countdown host Nick Hewer (center) didn’t hold back when taking a swipe at his ex-colleague Susie (left) after she wished Anne well on Twitter

However Susie appeared to dismiss any feud claims by sending a congratulatory message to ‘wish her the best’ as she moved on to pastures new.

The lexicographer, who has appeared in Countdown’s Dictionary Corner since 1992, wrote on Twitter: ‘Some Countdown news.

‘Wishing Anne all the very best in her new adventures with her grandchildren and beyond.’

However, Nick, 78, accused her of ‘sucking up’ to her former colleague and told her she would be a prime candidate for a ‘brown nosing’ award.

New role?  Richard Osman has been tipped as the early favorite to replace Anne on Countdown after the host announced she was stepping down after just a year

New role? Richard Osman has been tipped as the early favorite to replace Anne on Countdown after the host announced she was stepping down after just a year

He responded to her tweet, writing: ‘Well that’s a sure fire certainty for Private Eye’s OBN [Order of the Brown Nose] award. Well done Susie!’

Richard Osman has been tipped as the early favorite to replace Anne on Countdown after the host announced she was stepping down.

TV star Richard, 51, recently quit his show Pointless after 13 years so would be free to take on new commitments.

One insider told The Mirror: ‘Everyone is so relieved, to be honest. It’s all been a bit of a disaster with the fallouts and squabbles, we just want to draw a line under it and move on.’

Meanwhile Ladbrokes have said that Richard currently has 3/1 odds of replacing Anne on Countdown.

Oh no: It comes amid claims that the cast of Countdown are 'relieved' that Anne is leaving after reports on an on set feud with Rachel - who Anne reportedly found 'too noisy'

Oh no: It comes amid claims that the cast of Countdown are ‘relieved’ that Anne is leaving after reports on an on set feud with Rachel – who Anne reportedly found ‘too noisy’

After Richard, the next strongest odds for replacements go to comedian Susan Calman and Taskmaster star Alex Horne, both of whom have 4/1 odds.

Writer Victoria Coren Mitchell is next with 9/2 odds, while 8 Out Of 10 Cats star Jon Richardson follows with 11/2 odds.

Richard said in his statement last month when he quit Pointless: ‘I will miss everyone so much, but I’m thrilled that I’ll still be presenting the celebrity shows. I can’t thank everyone enough for twelve amazing years.’

Representatives for Anne and Richard have been contacted by MailOnline for a comment.

Job: As well as Richard, writer Victoria Coren Mitchell (pictured) is next tipped with 9/2 odds, while 8 Out Of 10 Cats star Jon Richardson follows with 11/2 odds

Job: As well as Richard, writer Victoria Coren Mitchell (pictured) is next tipped with 9/2 odds, while 8 Out Of 10 Cats star Jon Richardson follows with 11/2 odds

And it seemed that Rachel placed her seal of approval on the words, as she retweeted the post from pal Susie.

But while the TV stars put on a friendly display through social media, it comes after reports last year that Anne, who suffers from tinnitus, found Rachel ‘too loud’ and was ‘irritated by her habit of chatting on her mobile phone, and by her time-keeping’.

Opening up to Alison Boshoff for the Daily Mail, Anne admitted that Rachel is noisy and that she ‘wouldn’t go on holiday’ with her – but dismissed claims of a feud.

The Weakest Link host explained: ‘I’m not saying I would go on holiday with Rachel Riley, but she is brilliant,’ she said. ‘Absolutely honestly, I do admire her – she is really, really good at what she does, as is Susie Dent.

‘Look, Rachel has just come back from having a baby and she is standing throughout and faultless, whereas I get to sit down. She is noisy, yes she and Susie both are – they are a formidable pair those two. But there isn’t a question of my going because of a rift, that’s nonsense.’

She also explained that the three women ‘barely talk’ during the show, detailing: ‘The way that it’s filmed is so tight that… we don’t have time to talk to each other.’

Representatives for Rachel Riley declined to comment at the time.

Pastures new: Anne said that she was leaving the show as her contract was only one year long, and she 'didn't realize how much time it would take up'

Pastures new: Anne said that she was leaving the show as her contract was only one year long, and she ‘didn’t realize how much time it would take up’

Anne told Alison that she is leaving the show as her contract was only one year long, and she ‘didn’t realize how much time it would take up’.

Explaining that she’s swapping the ‘intense’ filming schedule for some downtime at home, Anne said: ‘I am moving on because I’ve got a lot going on – grandchildren, a big garden, an apartment in New York – and I want to enjoy them. Countdown has taken up more of time than I thought it would.’

‘It is great fun but it is intense. I go up [to Media City in Salford] and we do 15 shows in three 11-hour days. I’m built to last so I don’t really mind, but it does take up quite a chunk of my time,’ she added.

A spokesperson for the Channel 4 daytime show gushed over Anne after the announcement of her leaving, saying: ‘Quick-witted Anne has been a brilliant host on this iconic show.’

Moving on: Explaining that she's swapping the 'intense' filming schedule for some downtime, Anne said: 'I am moving on because I've got a lot going on – grandchildren, a big garden'

Moving on: Explaining that she’s swapping the ‘intense’ filming schedule for some downtime, Anne said: ‘I am moving on because I’ve got a lot going on – grandchildren, a big garden’

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