Countdown: Rachel Riley asks Nick Hewer why he's not married

Rachel Riley was on hand to co-host Countdown alongside Nick, 76, on the day of her 35th birthday and her co-star started the programme by sending her his best wishes. However, the occasion prompted the former Apprentice star to recall a story about him and his partner of 20 years, Catherine. After telling his tale, the mathematician took a swipe at the Channel 4 quiz show presenter as she made light of disagreeing with how Nick marked his other half’s birthday.

After announcing it was Rachel’s birthday, the host asked her if she had received “lots of cards,” to which she said she had.

“Of course, [the] baby scribbled,” she continued, referencing how her one-year-old daughter Maven Aria was celebrating her mother’s birthday.

“None quite as long in the planning as one that I’m about to tell you about,” the quiz show presenter told the mathematician.

Recalling some research he had done, Nick said: “A dad received a card for his 42nd birthday, he got it from his 14-year-old son and it was quite a sarcy [sarcastic] little comment about, ‘Oh, you’re getting old Dad, you’re past it now’.

“You know the sort of thing that teenage boys do. Anyway [the boy] sort of thought it would funny, but [his dad] took a slight bit of offence.”

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Nick continued: “So he tucked it into a drawer and he waited for 28 years when he little boy was 42 and then he amended it slightly and he said, Happy Birthday, Rob, from Dad’.

“‘I guess if you wait long enough, what goes around comes around’. So everyone had a jolly good laugh. It was quite funny, he had some foresight.”

This story led the host to recall his own experience and how he marks Catherine’s birthdays, explaining: “I’ve got a similar trick at home.

“It’s for Catherine’s birthday. I bought a Happy 100-years-old and on the front, this year, for instance, I put, ‘100 minus 72 equals 28 not long to go now’.”

Why aren’t you two married, again?

Rachel Riley

The quiz show presenter continued: “Each year, I just change the number and then she says, ‘Thanks a lot’.

“And I say, ‘I’ll have that back now because I’ll be giving that to you again next year’,” the host told Rachel.

After the drawn-out story, the mother-of-one then turned to her co-star as she told him: “Why aren’t you two married, again?”

With a grimace on her face, Nick knew she was joking but acted as if he took offence by hitting back: “We’re very much in love.”

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Continuing the game, the swipe was brushed under the carpet and Nick began to introduce the contestants who were playing.

When the camera panned back to Rachel, it seemed she thought she had annoyed her co-star as she was seen looking rather red-faced about the comment she had made.

The mother-of-one took to Twitter on Monday afternoon in a post to explain it was both her’s and Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor Dawon’s, 39, birthday.

In view of her 668,300 followers, she shared a link to the actor’s JustGiving page as he is running an ultra-marathon for the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust charity.

“When you go to send your birthday mate a text and realise you’ve only gone and missed his ultra-marathon,” Rachel wrote.

“Present sorted anyway. Happy birthday Ash! @ashoztd,” the mother-of-one continued and some of her fans were eager to send their good wishes to her.

One follower replied: “Happy birthday Rachel. Have a lovely day,” with a second writing: “Many Happy returns!”

A third posted: “You have very different friends than me. Happy birthday to your friend may they recover quickly from that outstanding feat.”

Countdown continues weekdays at 2:10pm on Channel 4.

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