Rachel Riley Biography
Rachel Riley MBE is a British TV host who gained fame by co-presenting the daytime puzzle show Countdown and its comedic version 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown on Channel 4.
Holding a degree in mathematics, she made her television debut on Countdown at the age of 22. Beyond Countdown, she has contributed to promoting math and science by co-hosting shows like The Gadget Show on Channel 5 (2013–14) and It’s Not Rocket Science on ITV (2016). Additionally, she took part in the BBC celebrity dance show Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.
Rachel Riley Age
Born on January 11, 1986, in Rochford, Essex, England, Riley’s current age is 37 as of 2023.
Rachel Riley Height
Riley’s height measures 1.7 meters, which is equivalent to 5 feet 6 inches.
Rachel Riley Family
Riley is a very private person when it comes to her personal details. Thus she has not disclosed any details on her family. We will be sure to update you once this information is available to us.
Rachel Riley Husband
In August 2012, Riley entered matrimony with Jamie Gilbert, whom she had encountered during their shared academic pursuits at the University of Oxford. However, their union took a different turn, and it was declared in November 2013 that they were parting ways. This separation has been referenced as an illustration of the “Strictly curse.” Subsequent to the conclusion of the show in December 2013, she commenced a romantic relationship with her dance partner from Strictly, Pasha Kovalev.
In May 2019, Riley revealed her pregnancy, expecting the arrival of their first offspring. Subsequently, on June 28, 2019, Riley and Kovalev exchanged vows in Las Vegas. Their joy was compounded on December 15, 2019, when Riley gave birth to a baby girl. In April 2021, Riley made public her second pregnancy, and on November 5, 2021, she welcomed their second daughter into the world
Rachel Riley Education
Riley received her education at the prestigious Thorpe Hall School, and later attended Southend High School for Girls, a grammar school, where she achieved exceptional results with four As at A-Level. She proceeded to attain a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oxford.
While on a university break, Riley contemplated a path in the financial industry and gained experience through an internship at Deutsche Bank located in the City of London.
Rachel Riley Career
Riley took over from Carol Vorderman on the show Countdown, managing the arrangement of tiles for letters and numbers rounds and providing solutions when contestants couldn’t. Her appointment coincided with Jeff Stelling becoming the new main host, succeeding Des O’Connor. This new duo began hosting the show in January 2009. Despite not aiming to be a TV presenter, Riley was encouraged by her mother and applied due to her interest in the numbers aspect of the game. She emerged as the chosen candidate among 1,000 applicants, expressing her excitement about landing the “cool maths job.”
Starting from 2 January 2012, Riley extended her Countdown role to the comedy spin-off, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, where comedian Jimmy Carr is the host. While the original Countdown is seen as a wholesome entertainment show, Riley differentiates the two roles. She considers Countdown suitable for her grandmother to watch, while Cats Does Countdown adopts a more daring and playful approach that she shares with her friends.
Strictly Come Dancing
Starting in September 2013, Riley participated in the eleventh series of the BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing, a ballroom dancing competition. She was paired with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev, who would later become her husband. However, Riley’s journey on the show ended in week 6, on November 3rd, when she was eliminated after a dance-off against Abbey Clancy and Aljaž Škorjanec. Interestingly, Clancy and Škorjanec eventually won that series.
Despite her admission that she lacked natural performing talent, Riley approached her dances by embodying different characters. In the initial five weeks of the competition, she struggled with stage fright, describing a feeling of mental haziness and detachment as the music started. However, after seeking help from a cognitive behavioral therapist, she managed to overcome her stage fright by learning to control her breathing. This breakthrough allowed her to fully enjoy the show during her final appearance.
From 2013 to 2014, Riley co-hosted the TV show “The Gadget Show” on Channel 5 with Jason Bradbury. She presented three seasons of the show before being replaced by Amy Williams. In 2016, Riley was part of a trio of presenters for ITV’s series “It’s Not Rocket Science,” which aimed to make science entertaining. Her fellow presenters, Ben Miller and Romesh Ranganathan, also had backgrounds in science and mathematics.
In August 2016, Riley’s involvement with Sky Sports was announced. She co-hosted “Friday Night Football” with her former co-host from Countdown, Jeff Stelling, and also appeared on “Fantasy Football Club” with Max Rushden and Paul Merson. She did, however, leave “Friday Night Football” in 2017.
In 2018, Rachel Riley initiated a campaign against the handling of antisemitism allegations by the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. She spoke out after encountering posters with the phrase “Israel is a racist endeavour” on London bus stops. Criticizing Corbyn’s approach to antisemitism allegations, she declared her lack of party loyalty in September 2018. In January 2019, Riley addressed the abuse she faced while speaking at an event by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
During February 2019, news outlets reported that Riley was involved in discussions to form a centrist breakaway party from Labour. In April, she supported the Stop Funding Fake News campaign as reported by Jewish News. In November 2019, Riley faced backlash for tweeting an edited image of herself wearing a shirt with the words “Jeremy Corbyn is a racist endeavour.” The image manipulation was criticized for changing the context of the original message against apartheid in South Africa.
In February 2019, Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman took legal action against 70 individuals for tweets they deemed libelous or harassment. They sued one individual for sharing an article accusing them of harassing a young Labour activist. In May 2019, a High Court judge found the linked article defamatory. However, in July 2020, Riley and Oberman withdrew their libel suit and contributed to the defendant’s legal costs.
In 2021, Riley received £10,000 in damages after suing Laura Murray, an aide to Corbyn, over Twitter comments. On November 16, 2022, Riley was awarded £50,000 in damages in a libel case against blogger Michael Sivier. Sivier’s conviction and reparation judgment were upheld by the High Court after a review.
In recognition of her contributions to Holocaust education, Riley was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2023 New Year Honours.
Riley shares a strong affinity for Manchester United, much like her father who hailed from Salford. In October 2010, she hosted a program on the club’s dedicated television channel, MUTV. The show featured a comprehensive tour of their Trafford Training Centre located in Carrington. Furthermore, Riley has taken on hosting duties for episodes of “An Audience with…” also on the same channel.
To commemorate her 1,000th episode of Countdown, which aired on June 25, 2013, she was honored by Manchester United player Ryan Giggs. He gifted her a signed team shirt. Coincidentally, Giggs himself had achieved a remarkable feat for the club in the same year by completing his 1,000th game.
Riley’s involvement with Manchester United extended beyond hosting. During her participation as a contestant on the BBC quiz show Celebrity Mastermind on January 4, 2012, her chosen subject was the club’s condensed history spanning 13 years. Ultimately, she achieved a joint second-place finish in the competition.
Rachel Riley to stop supporting Man Utd if Mason Greenwood is accepted back.
Riley has declared that she will withdraw her support for Manchester United if the club allows Mason Greenwood to come back. The club stated that they have not yet decided on the 21-year-old’s future, as it is under thorough internal consideration. In January 2022, Greenwood was arrested, and in October of the same year, he faced charges including attempted rape, controlling behavior, and assault causing bodily harm. However, he denied these charges, and they were later dropped in February. Riley’s statement came in response to another female fan named Em, who had expressed her intention to disassociate from the club if Greenwood is reintegrated.
Rachel Riley Net Worth
Riley’s net worth is estimated to be at $8 million.