Hard Times

TV presenter Carol Vorderman felt forced to leave Channel 4 quiz show Countdown after she was told to take a 90% pay cut, her manager has said.

Agent John Miles said Vorderman, 47, had been told the series survived the death of host Richard Whiteley in 2005, and could “easily survive without you”. Vorderman, a co-host since its 1982 start, said she wanted everyone “to know the truth” about her departure.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We never comment on presenters’ salaries.”

Vorderman, who is reported to earn in the region of £900,000 a year from the show, announced she was leaving on Friday.

Mr Miles said his client had offered to accept a pay cut of one-third, in line with a 33% budget cut being imposed on the show by ITV Productions, which makes Countdown for Channel 4. But he said she felt she was left with no alternative but to leave after she was told to take or leave an offer of 10% of her current salary, and given 48 hours to decide.

Aw shucks. The poor dear — offered only £90k for standing up and breathing. Still, the show must go on. Apparently.