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Carol Jean Vorderman
Group Captain Carol Jean Vorderman MBE RAFVR(T) (born 24 December 1960) is a British media personality, best known for co-hosting the popular game show Countdown for 26 years from 1982 until 2008.
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==Carol Jean Vorderman== [[MBE RAFVR]](T) (born 24 December 1960) is a Welsh media personality, best known for co-hosting the popular game show Countdown for 26 years from 1982 until 2008.
====Vorderman's career==== began in 1982 when she joined Channel 4 game show Countdown. She appeared on the show most recently with Des O'Connor, and previously with Des Lynam and before that Richard Whiteley (from 1982 until his death in 2005). Vorderman left the show in 2008. Whilst appearing on Countdown, Vorderman began presenting other shows for various broadcasters including Better Homes and The Pride of Britain Awards for ITV, as well as guest hosting shows such as Have I Got News for You, The Sunday Night Project and Lorraine.
====Vorderman was a presenter==== of ITV's Loose Women from 2011 until 2014.
===Early life and education=== Vorderman was born in Bedford, Bedfordshire, the youngest of three children to Dutch father Anton 'Tony' Vorderman (1920–2007) and Welsh mother [[Edwina Jean (née Davies]], born 1928). Her parents separated three weeks after her birth, and her mother took the family back to her home town of Prestatyn, North Wales, where Vorderman and her siblings, Anton and Trixie, grew up in a one-parent household. Vorderman did not see her father again until she was 42. In 1970, her mother married Italian immigrant Armido Rizzi. The couple separated ten years later. Vorderman's father remarried; his wife died in the early 1990s.
====Vorderman was educated==== at the Roman Catholic comprehensive Blessed Edward Jones High School in Rhyl. In 1978, when she was 17, she matriculated at the University of Cambridge, where she studied engineering at Sidney Sussex College; she earned a Third class in all three years of her education at Cambridge, and thus became a member of the "Nines Club", and graduated with a third-class honours degree.
====Vorderman did not==== trace the Dutch side of her family until 2007 (as part of the BBC genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?) It was only then that she discovered that her father had been an active member of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. He died while the programme was being filmed. Her great-grandfather Adolphe Vorderman played a key role in the discovery of vitamins.
===Early career=== Vorderman initially found employment as a junior civil engineer at Dinorwig Power Station in Wales and later as a graduate management trainee in Leeds. In her spare time, she was briefly a backing singer with friend Lindsay Forrest in the Leeds-based pop group [[Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits]], fronted by radio DJ [[Liz Kershaw]] during the early 1980s. The group recorded such songs as a version of [[The Undertones]]' hit [[Teenage Kicks]] (one of the tracks Vorderman had to identify during the "intros round" when she appeared on [[Never Mind the Buzzcocks]] in December 2009 – the series often includes questions from contestants' pasts). During 1984/85 she made regular appearances on the Peter Levy show on Radio Aire, appearing mid-morning to read a story for pre-school children.
====In the mid-1980s==== Vorderman worked part-time in the Information Services Department of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, principally involved in the production of in-house video programs.
====1982 – 2008==== Vorderman's mother noticed a newspaper advertisement asking for a woman with good mathematical skills to appear as co-host on a quiz show for the fledgling fourth terrestrial channel and submitted an application on behalf of her daughter, then aged 21. Vorderman appeared on Countdown from the show's inception until 2008. Initially, Vorderman's only contribution to the show was the numbers game, and she formed part of a five person presentation team. However, over the following years, the team was pared down, and Vorderman's contribution increased. Vorderman thus became a new type of game show hostess, revealing her intellectual ability by carrying out fast and accurate arithmetical calculations during the show. Her lasting success on the show led to her becoming one of the highest-paid women in Britain, ultimately earning her an estimated £1 million per year.
===After Richard Whiteley=== In June 2005, the producers of Countdown asked Vorderman if she wanted to fill the role of main presenter vacated by the recently deceased Richard Whiteley. Vorderman declined, and a search for a new presenter began while the show went into a four-month hiatus. In October 2005, Des Lynam replaced Whiteley and co-hosted with Vorderman. In January 2007 Des O'Connor replaced Lynam; Vorderman continued to co-host the show.
====On 25 July 2008,==== after 26 unbroken years with the show, it was announced that Vorderman was stepping down from Countdown. She later said she had resigned after failing to agree terms with Channel 4 for a new contract, and it was reported that she had been asked to take a cut of 90% from her previous salary, estimated as £900,000. She had considered leaving the show when the show's original host Richard Whiteley died in 2005, but remained on the show when Lynam took over, and until 2008 when his eventual replacement O'Connor announced he was also to step down as the show's host. Vorderman and O'Connor both left the show in December 2008.
====Vorderman recorded==== her last Countdown show on 13 November 2008 which was broadcast on 12 December 2008. Both her children were in the audience, together with many of the previous guests from "Dictionary Corner". After the prizegiving at the end of the show, Des O'Connor was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the show's lexicographer Susie Dent, and Vorderman received one from Gyles Brandreth. She was too moved to complete her farewells. A special show, One Last Consonant, Please Carol, hosted by Brandreth and featuring Vorderman's highs and lows during the 26 years of the show, was also filmed and transmitted just before her final Countdown appearance. After leaving Countdown, Vorderman continued contributing her column to the British magazine Reveal.
===Loose Women=== In July 2011, Vorderman and Sally Lindsay were tipped for roles on Loose Women following ITV's decision to axe [[Kate Thornton]] and [[Zoë Tyler]] from the program. This was later confirmed with Vorderman presenting her first live show on 5 September 2011. From September 2011 to June 2013, Vorderman and fellow Loose Women host Andrea McLean hosted two to three shows per week. However, after the show returned from its summer break in September 2013, she began to host one episode per week with McLean anchoring the remaining four. On 3 October 2013, it was announced that former Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams would be returning to the show later in the year and [[Ruth Langsford]] would join the panel in January 2014. Adams, Langsford and [[Andrea McLean]] hosted the show in rotation with Vorderman remaining as an occasional presenter on the program, usually presenting one episode a fortnight.
====On 14 July 2014,==== Vorderman announced her departure as a presenter on Loose Women. Vorderman explained: “I am getting into the hard work for my planning and training to go round the world next year. In the first two years on Loose I did over 100 days a year but in the last year I have only managed just over 20 days because I kept having to cancel days due to other work commitments. I tried appearing just once a week up until Christmas and I just couldn't do it. I write a lot of educational books and have a big maths website so my time is spent with those too. I like to do things properly and it's unfair to commit to something half-heartedly”
===Other television work=== Vorderman is the presenter of the annual Pride of Britain Awards, which are televised by ITV. She began hosting The Pride of Britain Awards when they were first introduced in 1999. Vorderman took part in the second series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. She was the second celebrity to be eliminated from the show. She guest presented Have I Got News for You in 2004 and 2006 and also presented an episode of The Sunday Night Project.
====Vorderman guest hosted==== numerous episodes of Lorraine in 2011. She presented the ITV Food show Food Glorious Food in 2013.
In 2016, Vorderman finished in eighth place in the sixteenth series of [[I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!]]
===Personal life=== Vorderman was first married in 1985 at age 24 to [[Christopher Mather]], a Royal Navy officer and former international rugby league player, but the marriage lasted only twelve months. Her second marriage was to management consultant [[Patrick King]] in 1990 at age 29. Vorderman had two children, [[Katie (b. 1992)]] and [[Cameron (b. 1997)]], with King; the couple separated in 2000. After meeting at a Christmas party in 1999, Vorderman and Daily Mail columnist and PR consultant [[Des Kelly]] lived together in London from 2001, also using their other house in Glandore, West Cork, Ireland. After five years together, Vorderman and Kelly separated in December 2006, publicly announcing the amicable split in January 2007. and after a brief reconciliation in Bristol according to reports. Vorderman shares her Bristol home with her mother, her two children and her best friend Mandy along with her own two teenage boys. Vorderman has commented that it is like a commune with endless coming and goings and much laughter and noise. Vorderman commenced qualification for a private pilot's licence during the summer of 2012 through a series of intensive training courses in Arizona, each lasting several weeks. Vorderman has lived with her mother all her life. Her brother lives in The Hague. As of September 2012, Vorderman has been dating RAF Red Arrows pilot [[Graham Duff]], who is 14 years her junior and a separated father of one. In 2014, Vorderman announced that she plans to circumnavigate the world, following [[Amelia Earharts]]' route, supported by Duff.
===Honours and awards=== Vorderman was honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "services to broadcasting" in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2000. She has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University in North Wales and, in 2000 received an Honorary Degree (MA) by the University of Bath. Vorderman was voted UK Female Rear of the Year in 2011. She became the first celebrity to win the award twice in 2014.
===Political activity=== Vorderman has been critical of the Labour Party's education policies. In February 2009, it was announced that she was to head a task force established by the Conservative Party to look at the teaching of mathematics. David Cameron commented, "Carol has got a passion for maths. We have all seen that on Countdown with her brilliant mental arithmetic and she is going to lead this task force so we can get the answers right." In an appearance on Question Time in March 2010, Vorderman was critical of all three major parties for hypocrisy in taking donations from non-domiciled taxpayers.
===Charity work=== Vorderman presenting an RAF Wings Appeal show in July 2011 Vorderman is a patron of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) (her older brother, Anton, was born with a cleft lip and palate). In 2005 she was the winner of Ant and Dec's Gameshow Marathon. As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations ITV ran a series of the nation's favourite game shows featuring celebrities competing to become Gameshow Marathon winner and raise money for the charity of their choice. As series winner Vorderman won £60,000 for CLAPA. In November 2011 Carol also appeared in the music video for New Vorder's 'Carol O Carol' (playing herself) a song written by Jim Salveson in 1999 about his love for Carol Vorderman. The video is directed by legendary music video director Tim Cocker and was released on 28 November 2011 in aid of charity CLAPA. Vorderman appeared in a short film entitled 'Run for the future' which promotes prostate cancer awareness and a charity run held every year on the Bristol Downs to raise funds for the BUI prostate appeal. She has also taken part in the Great North Run on several occasions to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. This was in memory of Richard Whiteley's sister Helen, who died of the disease. Vorderman is an active supporter and advocate of the RAF Wings Appeal charity, appearing at airshows and taking part in other fundraising events.
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