Des O’Connor is quitting Countdown after just two years hosting the show.

The veteran entertainer took over from Des Lynam who presented one series of the game show after original host Richard Whitely died. Whiteley had hosted Countdown since the show started in 1982.

O’Connor, 76, revealed that he’s quitting because he misses the thrill of performing live: “It’s been wonderful hosting a programme which is part of TV folklore.

“I have really enjoyed my two years with the show… it’s been a giggle since day one. But I miss the thrill of stepping out on a live stage for the one-man concerts and the challenge of live TV entertainment-based shows.”

He is leaving at the end of the current series in November. Channel 4 has yet to announce his replacement.