Carol Vorderman Biography

(Game Show Host)

Birthday: December 24, 1960 (Capricorn)

Born In: Bedford, Bedfordshire, England

Carol Vorderman is a British media personality, best known for her involvement in the popular game show, Count Down. Raised in a single-parent family in Wales, she earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering before joining the Count Down team at the age of 21, initially as a part of five-person presentation squad. But before long, her skills in mathematics were recognized and her roles in the show were enlarged, making her a co-presenter alongside Richard Whiteley. She remained with the show for 26 long years, earning a MBE for her contribution to broadcasting. Concurrently with that, she also appeared in numerous other shows, mostly as a presenter, but sometimes as a participant. Also an established author, she has numerous educational as well as health books published under her name and runs an online mathematics coaching system.  Equally active on and off screen, she is currently serving as a deputy presenter in the TV show Lorraine and has just completed a documentary on Wales.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In December

Also Known As: Carol Jean Vorderman

Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Christopher Mather (m. 1985–1986), Patrick King (m. 1990–2000)

father: Tony Vorderman

mother: Edwina J. Davies

siblings: Anton Vorderman, Trixie Vorderman

children: Cameron King, Katie King

Born Country: England

Game Show Hosts British Women

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Females

More Facts

awards: Member of the Order of the British Empire

Childhood & Early Life

Carol Jean Vorderman was born on 24 December 1960, in Bedford, a historical country town located in Bedfordshire, England. Her father, Anton Vorderman, was Dutch while her mother, Edwina Jean née Davies, was Welsh. Born youngest of her parents’ three children, she has two elder siblings, Anton and Trixie.

After her parents separated in January 1961, her mother returned to her hometown Prestatyn, located in North Wales, taking her three children with her. It was here that Carol began her education at St Mary's School in nearby Rhyl. Later she attended Blessed Edward Jones High School, Rhyl.

In 1970, her mother married Armido Rizzi, which ended in a divorce in 1980. By then, Carol has entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She graduated from there in 1981 with a Bachelor degree in engineering.

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Soon after graduating from college, Carol Vorderman began her career as a junior civil engineer at Dinorwig Power Station in Llanberis, Wales. Later, she moved to Leeds to become a graduate management trainee at an electric retailer.

In 1982, when she was just 21 years old, her mother noticed an advertisement asking for a woman with good mathematical skills for an upcoming television show and submitted an application on her behalf. She was eventually chosen.

On 2 November 1982, 21 years old Vorderman began her television career as a co-host on Count Down, a British game show involving word and number tasks, remaining with it till 2008. Initially, she was a part of five-person presentation team and mainly dealt with the numbers game.

Concurrently with co-hosting Count Down, she started taking up other assignments. In early 1980s, she served as a backing singer for pop groups like Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits and read stories for pre-school children on the Peter Levy show on Radio Aire in 1984-85.

In the mid-1980s, she worked part-time in the Information Services Department of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and was chiefly involved in the production of in-house video programmes. Then from 1987 to 1989, she served as the co-presenter of BBC One Show, Take Nobody's Word for It.

As time went by, her responsibilities in Count Down began to grow. Now her tasks not only involved handling of letters and number tiles, but she was also verifying contestant answers, instantly carrying out accurate arithmetic calculations. Very soon, she was made a co-presenter alongside the main presenter Richard Whiteley.

Because of her mathematical skills, she soon became one of the highest paid women in Britain, earning an estimated income of £1 million per year. In spite of that she continued to appear as co-presenter on various other shows such as How 2, World Chess Championship and Tomorrow's World.

In 1996, she first appeared as a presenter on Entertainment Today, an ITV show. Thereafter, she continued to work in that capacity for various other ITV shows such as Better Homes (1999-2003), Pride of Britain Awards (1999- present) and Britain's Brainiest Kid (2001–2002).

Concurrently with appearing in television shows, she also started writing, publishing her first book, Maths Made Easy: Ages 6-7. Key stage 1, in 1999. In 2001, she published her bestselling book, Detox for Life: The 28 Day Detox Diet and Beyond.

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In 2005, on the death of Richard Whiteley, Vorderman was offered the post of the presenter on Count Down. However, she declined the offer, continuing to serve as co-presenter until she stepped down in 2008 due to a disagreement over the terms of contract.

In 2007, she started her personal commercial venture by launching a brain-training game called Carol Vorderman's Mind Aerobics and a video game called Carol Vorderman's Sudoku. Next in 2010, she launched an online mathematics coaching system for 4- to 12-year-old children under the name of the MathsFacto.

In 2011, she guest presented 15 episodes of Lorraine. Later in September, she was appointed a presenter for the popular live show, Loose Women, serving in that capacity till 2014.

Also in 2014, she appeared as Zoe in two episodes of WIA. Later In 2017, she appeared as Agent E in Missing Crown Jewel. Meanwhile, she continued to write and publish series of books, especially on mathematics, science and spellings.

Since 2018, she has once again started appearing as a guest presenter in Lorraine. That apart, she can also be seen in Carol Vorderman: Closer to Home. Aired by BBC One Wales in January 2021, the series finds her taking a road trip across Wales, starting with her hometown Prestatyn.

Major Works

Carol Vorderman is best known for co-presenting Count Down, a Chanel 4 game show, from 1982 to 2008. First appearing in it in a limited role, she quickly became well-known for her intellectual acumen, which in turn led to a larger role and a huge monetary remuneration.

Also known as an established author, her 2001 work, Detox for Life: The 28 Day Detox Diet and Beyond is a bestseller. That apart, she is equally known for her other works including English Made Easy, Maths Made Easy, Science Made Easy and How to Pass National Curriculum Maths.

Awards & Achievements

In the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2000, Carol Vorderman was created a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "services to broadcasting".

In 2006, she received an Honorary Degree (MA) from the University of Bath. She has also been elected an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University (North Wales).

In 2011 and 2014, she was voted UK Female Rear of the Year.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1985, Carol Vorderman married Royal Navy Officer, Christopher Mather. But the marriage was short-lived, ending in a divorce in 1986.

In May 1990, she married management consultant Patrick King, having two children, Katie (born in 1992) and Cameron (born in. 1997), with him. The couple separated in 2000.

In December 1999, she met Daily Mail columnist and PR consultant Des Kelly. They lived together from 2001 to December 2006, announcing their amicable separation in January 2007.


Carol Vorderman’s mathematics teacher, Mr. Parry, is said to have inspired her to excel in the subject.

Separated from her father at the age of three weeks, she did not meet him until she was forty-two years old.

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