Countdown‘s new hosts Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley have pulled in thousands of extra viewers.

Channel 4 bosses are delighted that ratings have soared by 11 per cent since maths whizz Rachel and football pundit Jeff took the helm of the long-running quiz, according to the Daily Mirror.

In the opening days of their show the duo managed to attract an audience of 1.3 million and have managed a steady 1.1 million since – figures that easily outstrip those of 2008.

A spokesman for Channel 4 said: “We are delighted. Jeff and Rachel make a fantastic team.”

Rachel, 23, beat more than 1,000 applicants to be selected as Carol Vorderman’s replacement, who left the show after 26 years following an alleged row over pay.

A source told the Mirror: “In Rachel’s first batch of filming she was a little nervous and camera-shy. But she has improved massively and has more confidence now so I am sure she will help to attract many more male viewers to the show.

“She is beautiful and has the maths brains needed, so she is a big factor in the show’s new success. Jeff also seems to be helping get new viewers – possibly football fans.”

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