Maths whizz and TV presenter Carol Vorderman MBE has revealed how an advert in the Yorkshire Evening Post changed the course of her life.
Carol, who first rose to fame on Channel 4’s Countdown, is currently in the Australian jungle taking part in ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
During last night’s episode, she was shown talking to other contestants about how she landed the role as co-host of Countdown after finishing university.
Carol, 55, said: “My mum was homeless. The only place we could afford a house was in Leeds.
“Three weeks after we moved and we were in desperate straits, my mum saw an advert in the Yorkshire Evening Post for this new programme, Countdown.
“They couldn’t find anyone who could do the sums, so my mum wrote a letter to the producer pretending she was me, forged my signature and sent it in.”
My mum wrote a letter to the producer pretending she was me, forged my signature and sent it in.Carol Vorderman MBE
The chance taken by her mum paid off and Carol became the co-host of the popular quiz show, which was the first programme to air on Channel 4 when the station launched in 1982.
Carol stayed on the Countdown team until 2008, working alongside Richard Whiteley until his death in 2005 and, later, Des Lynam and Des O’Connor.
She has held a number of other presenting roles over the years, including The Pride of Britain Awards, and was a regular on ITV’s Loose Women from 2011 until 2014.
The mother-of-two has been married twice – to Christopher Mather in 1985 and Patrick King in 1990.
She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to broadcasting when the birthday honours were awarded in 2000.
Watch last night’s I’m A Celebrity... episode on ITV player here.