Susie Dent: Countdown star couldn’t see ‘point of life’ as a teenager ‘I felt really sad’

Countdown: Susie Dent reveals she rejected show 'three times'

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Susie Dent, 56, is best known for appearing in Dictionary Corner on Countdown, sharing the high scoring words in each round. While she has become a regular face on-screen, the lexicographer has admitted her teenage years were not her best, as she opened up on her life before her success on the Channel 4 show.

Susie first joined Countdown in 1992 and currently appears alongside fellow presenters Nick Hewer, 77, and Rachel Riley, 35.

However before her foray into TV, she spent her teens feeling unhappy, sharing her difficulties in a recent interview.

She explained: “When I was about 13, I felt really sad and wrote a secret diary about feeling awful and not seeing the point of life.

“I definitely didn’t feel suicidal but I was very, very melancholy.”

While talking to The Big Issue, she added: “But by the time I was 16 I think I was a lot more upbeat, quite happy in myself.

“I’ve always enjoyed my own company, and I think I’d got through it all by then.”

Susie will celebrate 30 years on Countdown next year and has since spoken of how she didn’t expect to still be a part of the daytime classic.

She gushed: “It is bizarre that I have been on this show for so long.

“I started in 1992 and never imagined I would still be doing it now, but this is a unique television show.

“I know people like to think they are part of something special when they are on a long-running TV show, but this is a genuinely unique programme,” she told Female First.

Last week it was revealed Susie and fellow Countdown star Rachel will be joined by new host Anne Robinson, after current host Nick stepped down from his presenting duties on the show.

Anne’s new role was announced as part of Steph McGovern’s Packed Lunch last week.

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Susie has since expressed her excitement for her new co-star signing up via social media. 

In a post to her 705,800 followers, she wrote: “A big day for Countdown as we welcome a new member into the best TV family in the world (I may be biased).”

She later admitted Anne once “saved” her during one of her first appearances on TV.

Talking on Times Radio last week, she said: “I will always be grateful to Anne because she rescued me on my first voyage into live telly, on a programme she did called Test The Nation.

“I was an expert along with John Humphreys on the English language.”

She added: “I was so nervous. I got through the first question and then thought, ‘OK, I’ve done it.’ I completely missed the next question. Anne could have annihilated me, but she didn’t.

“She repeated the question to me very gently. So, I’ll always be grateful to her for that.”

Countdown airs weekdays on Channel 4 from 2.10pm.

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