‘No love lost’: feud between Rachel Riley and Countdown host Anne Robinson explained

Talk of an ongoing feud between Rachel Riley and Anne Robinson on quiz show Countdown has reached new heights as host Robinson reportedly muted the maths genius’ microphone on set.

Show insiders have reportedly spoken of a “divide” between the two, with “no love lost between these two”.

This is everything you need to know.

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Why do the two have a feud?

There have been rumours that tensions between Robinson and Riley have been growing since the ex-Weakest Link presenter took over from prior Countdown host Nick Hewer.

In an interview at the end of October with Press Association, Riley admitted that working with Robinson instead of Hewer has been “completely different”.

She said: “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.

“We’ve not really done much team bonding.

“Obviously we had 10 years with Nick and we really knew each other.

“[Robinson] is a completely different character.”

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Speaking to MailOnline, a source reportedly said that there was a “young and old divide” between Riley and Robinson.

They said: “The tension between Rachel and Anne is being openly discussed. It is very much Rachel and Susie [Dent] against Anne - a case of two camps.

“Lots of crew are discussing what is going on. Rachel and Susie don’t care much for Anne and her rather grand ways and things have become pretty uncomfortable.

“Anne likes to do things her way, while Rachel doesn’t go along with how she operates. This has now led to little social interaction between them away from the cameras.”

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What was the microphone incident?

Robinson allegedly turned off Riley’s microphone on set after complaints that she was being “too loud” whilst talking with contestants prior to filming.

An insider reportedly told The Sun: “Anne is famously known for two things: her dislike of noise and time-keeping. She’ll tolerate neither.

“Anne also has tinnitus and cannot bear excess sound. Rachel, with her big heels and even bigger personality, can be quite loud on set. Rachel used to chat to contestants before every show, and Anne found it hugely distracting.

“She felt she couldn’t do her job properly, or bond with the contestants to help them relax, before the cameras started rolling.

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“Poor old Rachel didn’t work it out for a couple of days, and was babbling away quite happily before realising no one could hear her.

“When Anne said she wanted silence, Rachel turned around in front of the whole studio and stated publicly that she disagreed; that she didn’t find it necessary.

What is the environment like on set?

The insider said: “The tension was palpable. Anne finds the whole thing hilarious. There’s nothing like a bit of good-natured rivalry to get the juices flowing.

“Rachel is obviously a professional and never late for filming - she just cut things more fine than perhaps stickler Anne would like.

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“It’s safe to say there’s no love lost between these two, but it’s ratings gold.”

Another show source also told the news outlet: “Everyone at Channel 4 is secretly thrilled this battle is out in the open - it can only boost ratings further.

“Anne is doing exactly what she said she would when she got the job.”

Why isn’t Rachel Riley on Countdown at the moment?

The Countdown maths whizz is currently on maternity leave as she is expecting her second baby.

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In 2019, she had her first child with partner Pasha Kovalev, Strictly Come Dancing professional. She gave birth to their daughter, Maven Aria, on 15 December 2019.

Earlier that year, Riley and Kovalev married in Las Vegas, on 28 June 2019.

She announced that they were expecting their second child together in April of this year.

Talking about her Russian partner, Riley said: “He’s the best dad in the world.

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“He’s amazingly patient and will let me sleep in in the morning and look after [Maven] when I’ve been up working late.

“He’s taken to being a dad like a duck to water. And Maven looks just like him. He goes to the soft play, the bouncy castle and the park - then I get home and he’s made dinner!”

Riley said that after this child, the couple don’t want any more children.

“We only want two. You can fit two in the car, that kind of stuff. It was a maths decision,” she joked.

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