Judith Keppel announces retirement from Channel 5’s Eggheads after 19 years

Judith Keppel has confirmed her retirement from Channel 5 quiz show Eggheads after 19 years.

The 80-year-old, who was one of the original Eggheads, joined the long-running programme in 2003 after becoming the first Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? winner, gambling her way up after losing all three lifelines.

The beloved quiz show, which saw wannabe quiz whizzes facing off against a team of championship players, was given a new lease of life on the broadcaster following its axe on the BBC after 17 years.

‘I love doing it but I have done it for 19 years and my memory is definitely not what it was,’ said Keppel.

‘I have done it for 19 years and I’m quite old. I had a sort of horrible decade birthday the other day, and I have noticed that I can’t learn as well as I did. So I just thought it was time to go,’ she added to PA News Agency.

Speaking about her time on Eggheads, the TV personality hailed her experience as ‘great fun.’

Addressing what she’ll miss about the show, she said: ‘I think what I’ll funnily enough miss is having to concentrate, because it was very good for me in that I started reading the papers, concentrating hard.

‘Now, of course, I cast away any sports pages there are, don’t have to do that, don’t have to read about pop music or anything like that.

‘So I’m going to get very out of touch with kind of popular stuff, I think. And I probably won’t concentrate like I used to.’

Reacting to Keppel’s announcement, fellow Egghead panelist Kevin Ashman, ‘We’ll miss Judith terribly. She brought a real touch of class to proceedings. I remember one team coming to set and they had a spreadsheet of our strengths and weaknesses.

‘Judith they had identified as good at history, arts, books, as you’d expect, but they’d also put her down for ‘posh stuff’ whatever that category covers.’

Show host Jeremy Vine, who has been on the programme since 2008, added: ‘I think for all of us it’s sad, she was my great buddy in the studio, because she used to always sit next to me and we would spend most of the time laughing.’

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