Rachel Riley causes stir as she toasts to Countdowns future as Anne Robinson leaves show

Countdown’s Rachel Riley quizzed on ‘feud’ with Anne Robinson

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Rachel Riley, 36 and Anne Robinson, 77, have clashed in the past, with The Weakest Link star publicly admitting that she found her co-star too “noisy” and admitting that she wouldn’t “go on holiday with her”. Now, Anne has told the world she is retiring from the show – and Rachel raised her glass to a future without her.

There isn’t a rift – it was me wanting everyone to be quiet in the studio

Anne Robinson

“Drinking a toast to the next chapter in Countdown’s history… I think you’re going to like it!” Rachel teased on Instagram, posting an accompanying photo of herself enjoying a drink while clad in a strawberry print dress.

There had been tension between the pair behind the scenes of the show, with Anne later admitting she wanted Rachel’s microphone to be turned off at all times that she wasn’t filming.

Some fans interpreted the Instagram post as a dig at Anne, with @jusxx81 jokingly exclaiming: “Are you toasting the fact that Anne has finally left??”

Meanwhile @jay_klein_ replied: “Celebrating Anne leaving??”, @andrew_swfc_ enquired: “Are you happy cause you got rid of Anne?”and @fazismad quizzed: “In other words but wont say the words, thank god Anne is leaving.”

However, Anne herself made it clear that her departure had not been sparked by any kind of feud.

“There isn’t a rift – it was me wanting everyone to be quiet in the studio,” she insisted, while addressing the importance of punctuality.

“I like everyone turning up on time and quiet, quiet, quiet, so we did have to iron that out,” she revealed during a chat with BBC Radio Four’s Women’s Hour.

She added that her mental agility is continuing to improve even at the age of 77, sharing that she can now complete an anagram at twice the speed that she managed last year.

That left the question of why she had decided to leave.

Anne shed some light on the issue, telling the world that her grandchildren and property in New York were “more deserving” of her attention.

She also claimed that, in spite of being offered a salary rise, she could not accept Channel 4’s request that she go onto their payroll.

“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,” she told the Sun.

“I wasn’t interested in any offer on that basis, even if it included financial parity.”

She joked: “I will, however, miss out on the Channel 4 luncheon vouchers, which is a big regret.”

She had also told Emma Barnett on Woman’s Hour that she had “marched” so that the next generation could be “really clever at negotiating salaries and pay”.

However, it seemed she was doomed to be disappointed.

“You’re all absolutely hopeless at it,” she scoffed, adding: “Why? It’s so easy.”

Meanwhile, some of Rachel’s 540,000 Instagram followers praised her latest post via the comments.

“I don’t care who’s in the chair as long as Rachel and Susie are still on the program. My 2 favourites,” @steventaylor7914 wrote.

@jennyj47 chimed in: “I’m sorry to say this as I have watched countdown since the beginning but I am glad we are getting a new presenter!”

However, she added supportively: “Please don’t you or Suzy ever desert us countdown fans!”

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