Since the former Weakest Link host took over from Nick Hewer as host of the show in June, there’ve been various reports in the tabloid press about supposed backstage tensions between Anne and Rachel, as well as with resident Dictionary Corner expert Susie Dent.
These rumours have hinted at everything from Anne’s alleged annoyance at Rachel chatting with contestants before a show starts, to supposed disagreements over how production should run.
As reported by MailOnline, Anne addressed the matter in an interview with Rachel Johnson, where she was asked directly about the supposed feud.
She replied: “They’re brilliant – both of them actually. Every time I’m astonished how she [Rachel] does that adding up and subtracting – just seconds, absolutely seconds, amazing.”
Anne continued: “I hope I’m always described as difficult, awkward, tricky, impatient, menopausal, any sort of pejorative, grumpy.” When Rachel Johnson suggested “bitchy”, the presenter said: “Not particularly – hard to please.”
Rachel Riley recently admitted that Anne is “not the cuddliest person in the world” as she also attempted to downplay reports of behind-the-scenes tensions.
Speaking on Lorraine, she said earlier this month: “You’ve got some women there and they want to make something up. I’ve seen the headlines of feuds escalating.
“[Anne’s] not the cuddliest person in the world. But it’s just a different show now, she’s making it her own. She’s getting some stuff out of the contestants – sometimes it’s barbed, sometimes it’s funny, it’s just got a different flavour.”
In a separate interview, Rachel also said there hasn’t been “much team bonding” since Anne joined the show.
“We used to all be in the same room together but because of coronavirus everyone’s off separately having their make-up done so we don’t see each other as much,’ she told Yahoo Life. “We’ve not really done much team bonding.”
“Obviously, we had 10 years with Nick and we really knew each other. She is a completely different character,” Rachel added.
Countdown airs weekdays at 2.15pm on Channel 4.
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