Rachel Riley jumps to defend Countdown contestant after savage Anne Robinson dig

Countdown: Rachel Riley defends maths teacher after Anne dig

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Anne Robinson returned to the Countdown hosting seat on Thursday afternoon to put another two contestants’ literary and math skills to the test. As always, Rachel Riley was on hand with the numbers and letters while Susie Dent was joined by Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas in Dictionary Corner. On Thursday, lecturer Stu Harkness and student Matty Hurst faced off but when the latter stormed into the lead, Anne decided to put the player in the firing line.

Stu had already made an impression on Channel 4 viewers after racking up an incredible 148 points on Wednesday afternoon.

So 16-year-old schoolboy Matty had quite the challenge ahead of him – and it soon became clear Stu was no match.

Heading into the final numbers round of the head-to-head, Stu had a score of 94 compared to Matty’s 38.

Matty had opted for six small numbers for the final numerical brainteaser of the day with the numbers six, four, one, two, nine, and another six being selected by Rachel.

In order to bag the points, Matty and Stu had to get to the total of 401 with the six numbers.

But when the famous clock had reached the 30-second mark, Matty failed to give an answer.

“I’ve gone wrong, I’ve used the six twice,” he told Anne, who then turned to Stu.

“I’m gonna have a bash at 401,” Stu sheepishly replied as he began to smirk.

“Off you go,” Anne replied as Stu reeled off his workings to get to the total.

As Rachel jotted down the equation, she jokingly remarked: “Yeah, you knew you had it.”

A round of applause rippled through the studio as Stu took his score up to 104.

But unimpressed, Anne jibed at Stu: “Yeah but he’s a maths teacher, Rachel.”

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Not letting Anne put a dampener on Stu’s efforts, Rachel quickly defended the Countdown contestant.

“Still, there’s a lot more pressure,” Rachel firmly said. 

“There’s a lot more to maths than just timing numbers together,” she continued. 

“It’s a skill – well done, Stu,” Rachel added, shutting down Anne’s swipe at the reigning Countdown champ.

With victory now secured for Stu, he failed to bag victory in the conundrum round.

In fact, neither Countdown player was able to decipher the tricky final brainteaser.

Instead, it was Rachel who chimed in to correctly answer “detonator”, earning her a round of applause from the Countdown players and studio audience.

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

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