Does Rachel Riley actually work out the maths herself on Countdown?

Virgin Radio

11 Nov 2021, 12:31

Credit: Channel 4

Credit: Channel 4

There can be few better feelings than when you manage to solve the maths game on Countdown. The sense of pride at taking the big and small numbers and finding the answer is quite something, because, if you’re anything like us, more often than not you just spend the 30 seconds adding/multiplying random numbers and ending up nowhere near the required total.

So how does Rachel Riley do it pretty much every single time? Sure, she has a maths degree from Oriel College, Oxford, but does she actually work out the maths puzzles live in the studio, with no help from anyone else?

Having been on the show since previous maths whizz Carol Vorderman left in 2009, Rachel has barely missed a target on the numbers game, solving the problems almost every time when the contestants fail to work it out. Her amazing maths has led to one person asking on Reddit whether she ever gets any help from the sidelines? 

The Reddit user said: “How on earth does she get the final numbers right every single time? I know she graduated from Oxford so she's definitely not mathematically challenged like me, but in order to do that day in day out on television without fail... Does she get the answers through her earpiece, just in case?”

One person replied: “I'm pretty sure she does them all herself. There have been times when she hasn't been able to reach the goal number, so she's not completely infallible either. She's just very good at maths!”

Another person said: “I went to a shooting of 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. During the numbers round she had a clipboard and a pad of A4 that she'd work the maths out on. She was sat on a stool in full view of the audience and didn't have anyone helping her out.”

Someone else agreed, saying: “Yes, and she apparently refuses to get outside help.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “They have some more bods in the background but mostly it’s Rachel. Carol (Vorderman) was the same, rarely do they need help. Sometimes if they mention two or more methods that will sometimes be the other folks.”

Back in 2018, the same year that the Reddit thread started, Rachel took to Twitter to own up to actually being bad at maths. However, there was more to her post that met the eye. 

The post was actually created in partnership with HSBC in order to help advise people regarding online fraud. 

In other news, Rachel Riley has just done some multiplication of her own, by giving birth to her second child with Strictly Come Dancing’s Pasha Kovalev.

Countdown continues weekdays on Channel 4 at 2.10pm.