Countdowns Anne-Marie shares key advice from Rachel Riley Get that done

Countdown: Anne-Marie Imafidon reveals advice from Rachel

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Anne-Marie, 31, recently replaced Rachel Riley as the maths expert on the popular Channel 4 show. However, the Countdown newcomer has opened up on the words of wisdom Rachel gave to her ahead of her first episode on the brain-teasing programme. Anne-Marie detailed the advice during a chat with Steph McGovern on Channel 4’s lunchtime talk show Steph’s Packed Lunch. 

Steph, 39, asked the mathematician if she was enjoying working on Countdown during Friday’s instalment of her chat show. 

Anne-Marie revealed: “The numbers are good, but it’s everything else which is hard.” 

Steph agreed: “Yes, that’s what I found hard when I went on was that you actually do it all yourself. 

“I just assumed someone was going to be saying it in your ear, but you’re not.”

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Steph continued: “So how do you get your brain to work that way?”

Anne-Marie smiled: “Practise is number one and memorising your 75 times table. 

“That was one of the things Rachel was like, ‘Just get that done and you’ll be fine.”

The programme cut to a clip of Anne-Marie working out a mathematical equation on an episode of Countdown. 

Anne-Marie added: “But I think you also just get into a rhythm, so that was fine and that’s probably the first or second episode in a block of three and we do five every day. 

“So by the end of it you are kind of in a flow and the numbers start to talk to you and they tell you how it all works.” 

Anne-Marie later explained the role was “fun in a way” but stressed it was still very much a job. 

“Like, it’s six things at the same time, I’m having to check their answers, I’m having to write it legibly, I’m also having to move,” she added. 

“I’ve got bigger hair than Rachel does so I’m having to stand and not cover Anne’s camera or the numbers or the letters.

“I also have to stand and smile. And you’ll know this, they’re in your ear.”

She continued: “So, it’s a lot. It’s fine now, looking back – that’s pretty cool.”

Steph quizzed the star on whether the experience was what she thought it would be like. 

Anne-Marie admitted the role defied her expectations, telling Steph: “I don’t know what I thought it would be, but I think those six things. But also just the response has been really cool.

“Because people are like, ‘How did it feel?’ But I’m not watching me, I’m just doing it, it’s only now [I can see it].”

Rachel is currently on maternity leave after she and her other half Pasha Kovalev welcomed their second child together in November. 

Countdown airs weekdays at 2.10pm on Channel 4, while Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12pm on Channel 4.

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