Jeff Stelling to step down as host of C4 gameshow Countdown later this year

Jeff Stelling will step down as host of Channel Four daytime gameshow Countdown later this year, it has been confirmed. The Sky Sports presenter who joined the show taking over from Des Lynam in January 2010 is to leave to focus on his work presenting sports programmes.

Speaking to Oasis FM in Tenerife, Stelling said: ''I'll give you a little world exclusive. Because I'm doing the Champions League for Sky next season I've actually resigned from Countdown and I'll be finishing at the end of December. You've got to really have your priorities and football is mine. I love it, and Soccer Saturday so I've committed myself very much to that next season.''

Stelling's co-host Rachel Riley who controversially took over from original host Carol Voderman at the same time as Jeff took hosting duties will remain on the show and Channel Four have already confirmed that the search for Stelling's successor is already on with bosses already looking at possible replacements.

Talking about saying goodbye to his co-host, Stelling added: ''That'll be really, really sad. We've had some very good times and I'll miss her.'' A spokesperson for the show confirmed the news saying: ''Jeff will continue to present Countdown until the end of the year. He's had a brilliant three years on the show and we're sad to see him go. We're already talking to a few people to find a replacement.''

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