Countdown to Des

A veteran entertainer has landed the role on a popular afternoon TV quiz show. Des O'Connor, 74, will replace Countdown's current host Desmond Lynam who announced he will step down after just 18 months in charge. Grandstand host Lynam quit after he was unhappy with commuting some 250 miles from his Worthing home in West Sussex. Comedian and entertainer O'Connor, who lives in Buckinghamshire, said he had had a 'fun' day in the production studios in Leeds working with arithmetic brain Carol Vorderman. Lynam took over from Richard Whiteley in 2005 after his tragic death. Other contenders for the top job were Michael Aspel, Eamonn Holmes and Stephen Fry. Whiteley had made Countdown a weekday institution after hosting the show for 23 years.