Countdown to a new host

I'm very sorry to hear that Jeff Stelling is leaving Countdown at the end of the year.  I had no inkling of it when I was filming the show over the last couple of weeks, but he, Rachel and Susie are a fantastic team.  To my mind, the show is as good as it's ever been, even when compared to the heyday of Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman.

So, who can step into Jeff's shoes and retain the programme's feelgood factor?  I don't have a strong preference - lots of good candidates are out there - but I do have a strong preference for whom not to choose.

1. Richard Madeley (10-1, apparently).  A quite horrifically smarmsome individual.  When he takes over Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show I find myself sticking broken-up Cornflakes in my ears just to drown out his smug, inane and painfully unfunny burblings, and the thought of him doing the same on Countdown is terrifying.

2. Aled Jones (7-2 with Paddy Power).  Another gentleman of old-style Radio 2 blandness.  He is soporific, dull and totally without edge.  I'm not saying Countdown needs a presenter like Simon Amstell (though it would be an interesting experiment) but it does need someone with a bit of random complexity, a bit of depth.  The overgrown choirboy does not have it.

3. Anne Robinson (an outsider).  It would be excellent to have a female presenter, but Ms Robinson is not the right person to go for.  Her persona is all wrong, too snappy and confrontational, such that even if she were to try and be charming and avuncular, everyone watching would suspect she was faking it.

Hopefully the producers will, like their Doctor Who counterparts, pay no attention to public pleas and choose someone interesting and a bit left-field.  In fact, why not just choose Matt Smith?
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