Countdown’s Rachel Riley left red-faced after ‘obvious’ maths blunder

Countdown’s Rachel Riley, who has been the show’s maths genius for 14 years, was left red faced in the latest episode when she was unable to solve the mathematical problem.

The contestants on Wednesday's episode were challenged to use the numbers selected to create the final number of 477, which none of the contestants were able to do.

Where Rachel, 37, would normally impress viewers and reveal how to reach the exact number in no time, on this occasion she was unable to do so and told the show's host, Colin Murray, “You will have to come back to me Colin."

Viewers quickly picked up on Rachel's blunder with fans claiming the sum was “obvious”.

One Countdown fan took to Twitter and wrote: “God, she missed an open one there – it was so obvious #countdown”, while another wrote: “I cannot believe she didn’t get that, bit embarrassing”.

Other Countdown fans tweeted that they knew the answer quicker than Rachel and that it was an “easy” sum.

One tweet read: “P**s-easy numbers but Riley didn’t get it (50 +3) x (8+1) = 477”, while another said: “Numbers game: 477 is (50+3) x (8+1) but @RachelRileyRR didn't declare the solution in time and hers was a more complicated answer #countdown.”

Rachel has been working as Countdown’s mathematician since she took over from Carol Vorderman.

Countdown’s Rachel, who is married to former Strictly Come Dancing professional Pasha Kovalev, recently opened up and discussed what her life is like hosting four Ukranian refugees at her home.

She told BBC Breakfast: “It is so rewarding and it’s working for us.

“Our little girls absolutely love having this little boy, it’s like they’ve got an extra brother and he’s got little sisters that he looks after.

“He’s like an extension of his mother and auntie looking after them. He’s had to grow up before his years, he’s just turned eight years old. He’s really a young little man because it’s been forced upon him.

“But it’s just a brilliant thing to be able to do and we’re just getting on like one big family.”

Rachel joked that she and her Russian husband Pasha Kovalev “can’t leave a carrot or a beetroot unattended without coming back and there’s a pot of borscht made” – referencing the traditional Ukrainian soup.

Rachel was made an MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours list for her efforts to raise awareness of the Holocaust and combat antisemitism.

The TV presenter and mathematician, whose mother is Jewish, has been honoured for her services to Holocaust education as an avid campaigner.


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