||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (November 2012)|
Carol Vorderman in July 2011
|Born||Carol Jean Vorderman
24 December 1960
Bedford, Bedfordshire, England
Pride of Britain Awards (1999—)
Loose Women (2011—)
Food Glorious Food (2013—)
|Children||Katie King (daughter)
Cameron King (son)
|Parents||Tony Vorderman (deceased)
Edwina J. Davies
Carol Jean Vorderman MBE (born 24 December 1960) is a British media personality, best known for co-hosting the popular game show Countdown for 26 years from 1982 to 2008. She is a freelance presenter. In September 2011 she became a co-host of the ITV panel show Loose Women. Since February 2013, she has presented Food Glorious Food on ITV. Vorderman is a member of Mensa with an IQ of 154.
Early life 
Vorderman was born in Bedford, the youngest of three children of Dutch father Anton 'Tony' Vorderman (1920–2007) and Welsh mother Edwina Jean (née Davies). Her parents separated three weeks after her birth, and her mother took the family back to her home town of Prestatyn, North Wales, where Vorderman and her siblings, Anton and Trixie, grew up in a one-parent household. Vorderman did not see her father again until she was 42. In 1970 her mother married Italian immigrant Armido Rizzi. The couple separated ten years later. Vorderman's father remarried; his wife died in the early 1990s.
Vorderman was educated at the Roman Catholic comprehensive Blessed Edward Jones High School in Rhyl. At the age of seventeen she went to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1978, where she studied Engineering and gained a third class honours degree at age 20.
Vorderman did not trace the Dutch side of her family until 2007 (as part of the BBC genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?). It was only at this point that she discovered that her father had been an active member of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. He died while the programme was being filmed. Her great-grandfather Adolphe Vorderman played a key role in the discovery of vitamins.
Early career 
Vorderman initially found employment as a junior civil engineer at Dinorwig Power Station in Wales and later as a graduate management trainee in Leeds. In her spare time she was briefly a backing singer along with friend Lindsay Forrest in the Leeds-based pop group Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits, fronted by radio DJ Liz Kershaw during the early 1980s. The group recorded such songs as a version of The Undertones' hit Teenage Kicks (one of the tracks Vorderman had to identify during the "intros round" when she appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks in December 2009 – the series often includes questions from contestants' pasts). During 1984/85 she made regular appearances on the Peter Levy show on Radio Aire, appearing mid-morning to read a story for any pre-school children who might be listening with their mothers.
Television career 
1982 – June 2005 
Vorderman's mother noticed a newspaper advertisement asking for a woman with good mathematical skills to appear as co-host on a quiz show for the fledgling fourth terrestrial channel and submitted an application on behalf of her daughter, then aged 21. Vorderman appeared on Countdown with Richard Whiteley from the show's inception in 1982 until Whiteley's death in June 2005. Initially Vorderman's only contribution to the show was the numbers game, and she formed part of a five person presentation team. However, over the following years the team was pared down, and Vorderman's contribution increased. Vorderman was a new type of game show hostess, revealing her intellectual ability by carrying out fast and accurate arithmetical calculations as part of the game. Her lasting success on the show led to her becoming one of the highest-paid women in Britain, ultimately earning her an estimated £1 million per year.
After Richard Whiteley 
In June 2005 the producers of Countdown asked Vorderman if she wanted to fill the role of main presenter vacated by the recently deceased Richard Whiteley. Vorderman declined, and a search for a new presenter began while the show went into a four-month hiatus. In October 2005, Des Lynam replaced Whiteley and co-hosted with Vorderman. In January 2007 Des O'Connor replaced Lynam; Vorderman continued to co-host the show.
On 25 July 2008, after 26 unbroken years with the show, it was announced that Vorderman was stepping down from Countdown. She later said she had resigned after failing to agree terms with Channel 4 for a new contract, and it was reported that she had been asked to take a cut of 90% from her previous salary, estimated as £900,000. She had considered leaving the show when the show's original host Richard Whiteley died in 2005, but remained on the show when Lynam took over, and until 2008 when his eventual replacement O'Connor announced he was also to step down as the show's host. Vorderman later said that she had "put on a stone (6 kg) from the stress of being 'sacked' from Countdown". Vorderman and O'Connor both left the show in December 2008.
Final period 
The producers auditioned for Vorderman's and O'Connor's successors. On 21 November 2008 it was announced that these would be 22-year-old Oxford graduate Rachel Riley and Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, respectively.
Vorderman recorded her last Countdown show on 13 November 2008 and it was broadcast on 12 December 2008. Both her children were in the audience, together with many of the previous guests from "Dictionary Corner". After the prizegiving at the end of that show, Des O'Connor was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the show's lexicographer Susie Dent, and Vorderman received one from Gyles Brandreth. She was too moved to complete her farewells. A special show, One Last Consonant, please Carol, hosted by Brandreth and featuring Vorderman's highs and lows during 26 years of the show, was also filmed and transmitted just before her final Countdown appearance. After leaving Countdown she continued contributing her column to the British magazine Reveal.
Other TV appearances 
Outside television 
Vorderman has had newspaper columns in The Daily Telegraph, and in the Daily Mirror on Internet topics. She has written books on Detox diets. Her No 1 Bestseller was Detox For Life, produced in collaboration with Ko Chohan and Anita Bean and published by Virgin Books, which sold over a million copies.
A large number of school textbooks have been published under her name, chiefly by Dorling Kindersley in series such as English Made Easy, Maths Made Easy, Science Made Easy and How to Pass National Curriculum Maths.
Commercial ventures 
Vorderman also expanded her business ventures launching a number of sudoku products. In March 2007 she launched a brain training game called Carol Vorderman's Mind Aerobics together with BSkyB. Also in 2007, she released a video game for PlayStation 2 in the United States entitled Carol Vorderman's Sudoku.
In the autumn of 2008, soon after she completed her final regular Countdown show, Vorderman announced a new commercial venture in her own property development and sales company that would specialise in overseas holiday and retirement homes within the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Spain. Called Carol Vorderman's Overseas Homes Ltd she saw the company as a natural extension of her own experiences in buying and selling properties over recent years and was aiming at a target market of "families aged 35 plus". However, because of the international financial downturn the venture proved short-lived and during March 2009 Vorderman publicly withdrew her name from the firm, which suspended trading soon after.
On 2 March 2010 Vorderman publicly launched her new commercial venture of an online mathematics coaching system for 4 – 12-year old children under the name of the MathsFactor.
Endorsement controversy 
Vorderman had maintained a long-standing endorsement of the debt consolidation company First Plus, an association that ceased in 2007. In 2006 the charity Credit Action attempted to highlight the potential dangers of debt consolidation, calling on Vorderman to stop giving First Plus credibility. Her agent responded that Vorderman had no intention of curtailing the contract for a service which was perfectly legal and offered by an excellent company. When quizzed by The Daily Telegraph in November 2008 Vorderman herself responded with:
"The secured loans market was criticised and it was pertinent to pick me out, because I was a face. I advertised FirstPlus for 10 years. We had something like £1.5billion out on loan and until a matter of months ago there were no repossessions. When that programme [BBC's Real Story] was made, [there were] no repossessions. Did they say that? Funnily enough, no."
Other activities 
Personal life 
Vorderman was first married in 1985 at age 24 to Christopher Mather, a Royal Navy officer and former international rugby league player, but the marriage lasted only twelve months. Her second marriage was to management consultant Patrick King in 1990 at age 29. Vorderman had two children, Katie (born May 1992) and Cameron (born 1997), with King; the couple separated in 2000. Both marriages ended in divorce.
After meeting at a Christmas party in 1999, Vorderman and Daily Mail columnist and PR consultant Des Kelly lived together in London from 2001, also using their other house in Glandore, West Cork, Ireland. After five years together, Vorderman and Kelly separated in December 2006, publicly announcing the amicable split in January 2007, and after a brief reconciliation in Bristol according to reports the couple again separated in early 2011.
Currently single, Vorderman shares her Bristol home with her mother, her two children and her best friend Mandy along with her own two teenage boys. Vorderman has commented that it is like a commune with endless coming and goings and much laughter and noise. Vorderman commenced qualification for a private pilot's licence during the summer of 2012 through a series of intensive training courses in Arizona, each lasting several weeks. Vorderman has lived with her mother all her life. Vorderman's brother lives in The Hague.
Honours and awards 
Vorderman was honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "services to broadcasting" in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2000. She has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University in North Wales and, in 2000, she was awarded an Honorary Degree (MA) by the University of Bath.
Political activity 
There have been persistent rumours that Vorderman is a supporter of the UK Conservative Party and it has been suggested she refused the offer of a Life Peerage, though she has not confirmed this. In addition, she has been critical of the Labour Party's education policies. She appeared on Question Time in March 2010 and voiced right-wing political opinions. She agreed to head a task force established by the Conservative Party to look at the teaching of mathematics. David Cameron commented, "Carol has got a passion for maths. We have all seen that on Countdown with her brilliant mental arithmetic and she is going to lead this task force so we can get the answers right".
Charity work 
Vorderman is a patron of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) (her older brother, Anton, was born with a cleft lip and palate). In 2005 she was the winner of Ant and Dec's Gameshow Marathon. As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations ITV ran a series of the nation's favourite game shows featuring celebrities competing to become Gameshow Marathon winner and raise money for the charity of their choice. As series winner Vorderman won £60,000 for CLAPA. In November 2011 Carol also appeared in the music video for New Vorder's 'Carol O Carol' (playing herself) a song written by Jim Salveson in 1999 about his love for Carol Vorderman. The video is directed by legendary music video director Tim Cocker and was released on 28 November 2011 in aid of charity CLAPA. Vorderman also won £10,000 for CLAPA as part of the team on the November 2011 Celebrity edition of The Chase (game show).
Vorderman appeared in a short film promoting 'Run for the future' which promotes prostate cancer awareness and a charity run held every year on the Bristol Downs to raise funds for the BUI prostate appeal. She has also taken part in the Great North Run on several occasions to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. This was in memory of Richard Whiteley's sister Helen, who died of the disease.
Vorderman participated in Comic Relief Does The Apprentice (BBC1) as part of the winning ladies' team in March 2009 and appeared on "The Apprentice – You're Fired!" (BBC2) on 25 March 2009. She also appeared as a guest in November 2010.
Videos and published writings 
- Carol Vorderman's Pop Music Times Tables, 1990
- Carol Vorderman's How to Write a Perfect Letter, 1991
- How Mathematics Works, 1996
- Carol Vorderman's Guide to the Internet (written with Rob Young), 1998
- Carol Vorderman's How To Do Sudoku, 2005
- Carol Vorderman's Massive Book of Sudoku, 2005
- Eat Yourself Clever, 2008
- Carol Vorderman's Guide to Maths
- Carol Vorderman's Detox Diet
- It All Counts, 2010
|Co-host of Countdown
- Carol Vorderman – Presenters – Loose Women at itv.com
- Piers Morgan's Life Stories, 27 April 2012
- Who Do You Think You Are?, 27 September 2007
- Cable, Amanda (29 November 2008). "My Countdown meltdown: Carol Vorderman reveals the full toll of being forced out by Channel 4". Daily Mail (UK).
- Family Fortunes, 11 February 2012
- GRO Register of Marriages: SEP 1970 8a 1666 ST ASAPH – Armido G. Rizzi=Edwina J. Vorderman
- "Who Do You Think You Are? – Carol Vorderman". BBC One. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Liz Kershaw (9 December 2010). "Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Carol Vorderman, It All Counts (Headline Publishing Group, 2010). ISBN 978-0-7553-6010-9
- "Richest women in showbiz". Daily Mail (UK). 5 March 2004.
- Zoe Williams (30 July 2008). "Your number is up, Carol". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 30 July 2008.
- Liz Thomas Carol Vorderman: "I put on a STONE from the stress of being sacked from Countdown", Mail Online, 23 September 2008
- "Carol Vorderman quits Countdown". BBC News. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Vorderman and O'Connor's final show". BBC News. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Liz Thomas (21 November 2008). "Oxford graduate, 22, replaces Carol Vorderman as new look Countdown team is unveiled". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Carol Vorderman ends Countdown career". Telegraph (London). 13 November 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- McNeill, Phil (5 February 2008). "Property overseas: Would you buy a villa from Carol Vorderman". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Daniel Boffey (16 March 2009). "Vorderman quits property firm". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Liz Thomas (2 March 2010). "The two faces of Carol Vorderman: From schoolteacher on breakfast television to glamour puss on Loose Women". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Carol Vorderman overjoyed as she lands job to host Pope event in Hyde Park", Daily Mirror, 13 September 2010
- "Carol Vorderman's countdown to the Pope's visit", The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2010
- "Papal visit: Pope expresses his 'deep sorrow' for abuse", BBC News, 18 September 2010
- GRO Register of Marriages: DEC 1985 5 613 LEEDS – Christopher Mather=Carol J Voderman [sic]
- GRO Register of Marriages: MAY 1990 20 1160 RINGWOOD and FORDINGBRIDGE – Patrick J. King=Carol J Vorderman
- Loose Women, 8 May 2013
- Bull, Sarah; McCormack, Kirsty (30 September 2011). "We know you're single Carol but you're wasting your time with Spence... just so you know!". Daily Mail (London).
- Loose Women, 20 February 2012
- "Vorderman splits from her partner". BBC News. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Carol Vorderman reunites with ex". Digital Spy. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Denyer, Lucy (4 November 2007). "Moving on Carol Vorderman". The Times (UK). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Emily Sheridan (6 September 2011). "Vorderman single again after split with Des Kelly". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Home life
- Pilot's Licence
- Loose Women, 7 November 2012
- "Receives MBE in 2000". Engology.com. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Bangor University Fellow". Bangor.ac.uk. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Bath Hongrads
- "Rear of the Year 2011". Daily Mail (UK). 6 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Thorpe, Vanessa (14 February 2010). "Parties in pre-election battle to sign up stars". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Midgley, Neil (6 March 2009). "Carol Vorderman blasts Labour "lies" on maths teaching". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Macintyre, James (5 March 2010). "The ghastliness of Carol Vorderman". New Statesman. UK. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Sugden, Joanna (2 February 2009). "Carol Vorderman to help Tories with sums". The Times (UK). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Patron of CLAPA". Clapa.com. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Won £60,000 for CLAPA". Clapa.com. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Tribute song by Tim Cocker
- Prostate cancer charity run[dead link]
- Davies, Gareth A (29 September 2007). "Great North Run". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Wings appeal". Rafa.org.uk. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "RAF Waddington airshow". Thisislincolnshire.co.uk. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
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