Rachel Riley is an English TV presenter best recognized for co-presenting Channel 4’s puzzle game show ‘Countdown’ as well as its comedy spin-off show ‘8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’. A mathematics graduate of Oriel College, Oxford, she made her television debut at the age of 22. With a passion for popularizing mathematics and science, Riley then went on to co-present the shows ‘It's Not Rocket Science’ and ‘The Gadget Show’. Till date, she has also made guest appearances in a number of television programs, such as 'This Morning ', '12 Again ', 'Pointless Celebrities' and 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?', to name a few. She has even participated as a contestant on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Coming to her personal life, Riley is currently in a relationship with dancer Pasha Kovalev. The couple resides together in London.
Rachel Riley initially began her career in the financial sector. She interned at the Deutsche Bank, London. The experience of working there was an unpleasant one for her. Due to the male-dominated environment and early morning work routine, she decided to leave the company. After this, she joined a price comparison start-up company and worked there for some time before joining the television industry.
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Television Career as a Presenter
Rachel Riley's television debut came in 2009, when she joined Channel 4’s game show ‘Countdown’. Despite having no specific training and prior experience, she replaced the long serving presenter Carol Vorderman. As her popularity grew on ‘Countdown,’ Riley was offered the opportunity to host the show’s comedy crossover spin-off called ‘8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’ alongside comedian Jimmy Carr. From 2013 to 2014, she co-presented Channel 5’s ‘The Gadget Show’ alongside Jason Bradbury. The English beauty hosted three series of the show until she was replaced by Amy Williams.
She next became a part of ITV's ‘It's Not Rocket Science’. In this show, her co-presenters were Romesh Ranganathan and Ben Miller, both of whom had a background in mathematics and science. In 2016, Riley joined Sky Sports to co-present ‘Friday Night Football’ alongside Jeff Stelling and ‘Fantasy Football Club’ with Paul Merson and Max Rushden. However, the following year, she left ‘Friday Night Football.’
As a Contestant or Guest
In 2013, Riley appeared as a contestant on the eleventh series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ with her dancing partner Pasha Kovalev. However, Riley was eliminated in the 6th week of the show after she lost out in the dance-off against Aljaž Škorjanec and Abbey Clancy.
Till date, the English beauty has also made guest appearances on a number of TV programs, such as 'Chris Moyles,' Quiz Night', 'Celebrity Mastermind ', 'Sunday Brunch', 'Pointless Celebrities', 'I Love My Country', 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire', 'Virtually Famous', 'Saturday Kitchen', 'Dispatches' and 'Through the Keyhole', to name a few.
In 2009, Riley was recruited by Royal Mail to help advice tourists on how to make the most of their holiday currency. Her mathematical skills and love of football have also seen her assist bookmakers in setting up betting odds for the football tournaments.
Riley strives to be an educational advocate for the "geeky" subjects of science and mathematics and often visits schools to enthuse students on the "joys of quantum mechanics, applied mathematics, and time travel.
Rachel Riley was born on 11 January 1986 in Rochford, Essex, England. She studied at the independent Thorpe Hall School and later attended Southend High School for Girls where she obtained four As at A-Level. Riley then studied mathematics at the Oriel College, Oxford from where she earned an upper second-class honours degree.
Talking about her love life, the English beauty was earlier married to Jamie Gilbert, one of her colleagues at the University of Oxford. After spending four and a half years together, the duo initially split in 2009 before reconciling. They got married in 2012. However, they announced their separation the very next year.
Riley has been dating her former reality show dance partner, Pasha Kovalev, since 2014. Currently, the couple is living together in London.