Rory Bremner has rejected the chance to take over Des O'Connor as the host of Countdown.

The comedian has been the front runner to become the new presenter of the Channel 4 programme following O'Connor's departure in July.

But while the Bremner, Bird and Fortune star admitted it was "great to be asked" to present the popular game show, he has chosen to turn down the offer.

"Countdown is a unique show with a very loyal audience and for that reason, I felt that they needed someone who was part of the Countdown family, like Jo Brand," he told

"It was great to be asked, but I was worried I would fail the physical!"

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper last month, Bremner hinted at doubts over his suitability for the role.

"A good deal of time has been taken up mulling over my Countdown conundrum," he admitted. "An approach to host the programme came as much as a surprise to me as to anyone else.

"My reaction was rather as one would have felt a year or two ago about a proposition from Anna Nicole Smith: while I'm not yet as old as the previous incumbent, I can't help wondering what it would be like."

The replacements for O'Connor and co-host Carol Vorderman, who is also leaving the show after a reported pay dispute, will be seen in January next year.

30/08/2008 18:03:23