Nick Hewer gets message from Alan Sugar on final Countdown episode

‘You’re retired!’ Nick Hewer is left stunned as he gets a surprise message from ‘very good friend’ Lord Alan Sugar on his final Countdown episode

Nick Hewer was left stunned on Friday’s Countdown after he got a surprise message from his ‘very good friend’ Lord Alan Sugar on his final episode.

It was revealed in December that the presenter, 77, had quit the Channel 4 show after nearly ten years with Anne Robinson replacing him as the first-ever female host.

Bidding an emotional goodbye to Nick on Friday’s episode, the TV star was surprised by his former The Apprentice co-star Lord Sugar, who joked: ‘You’re retired’ in a nod at his famous saying on the BBC series: ‘You’re fired!’ 

Stunned: Nick Hewer was left stunned on Friday’s Countdown after he got a surprise message from his ‘very good friend’ Lord Alan Sugar on his final episode

Nick’s Countdown co-star Susie Dent unveiled the sweet gesture as she cryptically said: ‘I know that you love a sweet treat now and again and I’ve talked a lot on the show about the influence of salt on our civilisation and language.

‘I’ve not really talked about the impact of sugar, which has also vastly influenced our language and culture.

‘You know what, Nick, I’m going to leave this to someone who knows a lot more about this than me…’

Lord Sugar then appeared via video link as Nick was left stunned and almost gobsmacked by the surprise.

Sad: It was revealed in December that the presenter, 77, had quit the Channel 4 show after nearly ten years with Anne Robinson replacing him as the first-ever female host

Speaking in a sweet message, the business mogul said: ‘Hello Nick, well, we go back a long way. I think it’s over 35 years since you came to help me as my public relations consultant and you did a fantastic job for me over the years…

‘Of course, you’ve become a very, very good friend of mine now. Who would think, 35 years ago, if I was to say to you then: “Nick, I think you’re going to become a television celebrity…”

‘You would have said: “Oh, no, no, no”, exactly what you said to me when I invited you to become the assistant to me on The Apprentice. 

‘What were your words? “Oh, no, no, no – I am just not up for that type of thing.” Well, I think you’ve proved that you are more than up for that kind of thing.’

‘You’re retired!’: Bidding an emotional goodbye to Nick on Friday’s episode, the TV star was surprised by his former The Apprentice co-star Lord Sugar, who joked: ‘You’re retired’ in a nod at his famous saying on the BBC series: ‘You’re fired!’

Funny: Nick’s Countdown co-star Susie Dent unveiled the sweet gesture as she cryptically said: ”I’ve not really talked about the impact of sugar, which has also vastly influenced our language and culture…’ 

Lord Sugar then celebrated Nick’s time on Countdown, saying: ‘Congratulations now on ten years with Countdown, that makes you, I believe, the second longest serving host since Richard Whiteley.  

’18 series, 2000 shows, it’s about time you deserved a bit of leisure. So congratulations on such a great innings, but Nick, I’ve waited a long time to say this: “You’re retired!”‘ in a nod to his famous The Apprentice saying: ‘You’re fired!’

Nick was left overwhelmed by the surprise as he commented: ‘Well that’s extraordinary… how sweet of him.’

Elsewhere, Rachel Riley gave a cheeky innuendo-filled final speech as she joked: ‘This is your last ever episode. So we’re very sad to be losing you. I think personally, whenever I’m sitting over here gagging for a hard one… I will think of you.

Sweet: Nick was left overwhelmed by the surprise as he commented: ‘Well that’s extraordinary… how sweet of him.’

‘When Susie is over there, thinking about her special spot, we will think of you. You be sure of it!’ 

In February, it was confirmed that Anne Robinson would be the first female presenter of Countdown after being named as Nick’s replacement.

Confirmation of her appointment on the Channel 4 staple was made on Steph’s Packed Lunch, where her name formed a Countdown inspired conundrum.

Speaking live on the show, Anne told host Steph McGovern she is excited to be joining Rachel and Susie, saying: ‘I’m very excited, I want to rename it Three Clever Girls Do Countdown.’

Oo-er! Elsewhere, Rachel Riley gave a cheeky innuendo-filled final speech as she joked: ‘This is your last ever episode. So we’re very sad to be losing you. I think personally, whenever I’m sitting over here gagging for a hard one… I will think of you.’ 

Nick revealed in December that he had quit Countdown after nearly ten years of hosting. 

The presenter took to Twitter to announce the news and admitted the coronavirus pandemic had forced him to rethink his future. 

Nick revealed that he wouldn’t be renewing his contract in January as he approached his then 77th birthday and his tenth year of hosting.

The former The Apprentice aide had previously stepped away from the Channel 4 gameshow to shield at home during the second coronavirus lockdown, where he was replaced by Colin Murray, 44. He had since returned to the studio. 

Confirmed: In February, it was confirmed that Anne Robinson would be the first female presenter of Countdown after being named as Nick’s replacement (pictured in 2018)  

Nick said it had been a ‘privilege and a pleasure’ to be part of the show as he thanked co-stars Susie and Rachel. 

Taking to Twitter, he tweeted at the time: ‘Delighted to be back in the Countdown studio after another enforced lockdown, BUT this latest lockdown has given me an opportunity to consider my future life.

‘I’ve decided it’s a good time to step down at the end of my contract in the New Year. As someone in his 77th year, who will be in his 10th year hosting the great British institution that is Countdown, I think it’s time to smell the flowers and get a dog. 

‘But let me now take the opportunity to say that it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to take the helm of Countdown, first broadcast back in 1982 and still a Guinness recordholder. 

Stepping down: Nick revealed in December that he had quit Countdown after nearly ten years of hosting

‘And although I’ll be on your screens well into 2021, let me thank the broadcasters Channel 4, the truly dedicated and unwaveringly professional studio crew and production staff at ITV Studios who make the programmes.

‘All 250 or so a year, my wonderfully talented co-hosts Susie Dent and Rachel Riley but above all, the quirky genius of producer Damian Eadie, who never ceases to amuse and who always demands the best of us.

‘And a sincere thanks to our loyal viewers and of course the legions of contestants who battle their brains out for the chance of carrying off the Richard Whiteley Trophy or a priceless teapot. 

‘And so, to whoever takes my seat, I wish you every success and hope that you have as much fun and reward as I’ve enjoyed. @C4Countdown @susie_dent @RachelRileyR.’ (sic) 

Bowing out: The presenter took to Twitter to announce the news as he admitted the coronavirus pandemic had forced him to rethink his future (pictured with co-hosts Susie, left, and Rachel, right, in 2011) 

 

Nick’s co-stars Susie and Rachel shared their own statements to Twitter after the news.

Rachel tweeted: ‘Right, time to get a bingo list of things you need to slip into the show while you’re hosting @Nick_Hewer’ followed by a wink emoji. 

While Susie added: ‘The voice of a gentleman who will be dearly missed.’  

Countdown fans were let sad over the news as they flocked to Twitter to wish Nick well and a ‘happy retirement’. 

Countdown airs weekdays from 2.10pm on Channel 4. 

Bingo list! Nick’s co-star Rachel shared a fun statement to Twitter after the news 

Sweet: Nick’s fellow co-star Susie said he is a ‘gentleman’ who will be ‘dearly missed’ 

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