Rachel Riley is the numbers expert on Channel 4's long-running quiz show Countdown — having taken over the helm from Carol Vorderman in January 2009 — and a resident team member on the hit Channel 4 comedy show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
Rachel appeared in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme Kids Don't Count. The two-part documentary asked how and why we are failing Britain's children when it comes to maths. Rachel visited a primary school in Bristol to help encourage the children to tackle their maths demons.
She was also invited by Channel 4 to chair a debate regarding maths in schools, which linked to the Dispatches documentary Kid's Don't Count. She then chaired a panel of three experts, including J Sainsbury's then CEO, Justin King.
Brought up in Thorpe Bay, Essex, Rachel Riley graduated from Oriel College Oxford with an upper second-class honours degree in Mathematics, covering Quantum Theory, Fluid Mechanics and Applied Maths and was made a scholar in 2006. She captained the Oriel College Netball team and played in the women's football team.
After graduating Rachel began work as a data analyst for a website company in London. She was encouraged to apply for the Countdown position by her mother, and didn't have any ambition to be a television presenter, but decided to apply because she was interested in the numbers part of the game. Rachel was chosen from more than a thousand applicants despite having no previous television experience.
In 2009, Rachel was recruited by the Post Office, employing her mathematical skills to help advise holidaymakers on how to make the most of their holiday currency, after a report by the Post Office revealed that a significant number of holidaymakers fail to calculate the actual cost of goods and services when travelling abroad and often overspend their holiday budget.
Rachel is an avid Manchester United fan. She has presented Fantasy Football Club and Friday Night Football on Sky Sports. She has appeared on Football Focus (BBC 1), Soccer AM (Sky Sports) and Follow the Football (BT Sport). She has also presented shows on MUTV as well as featuring on BBC Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT radio.
Rachel has a keen interest in promoting maths and science to young people and has been involved in a number of national numeracy initiatives. She is particularly passionate about getting girls involved in STEM subjects.
She is involved with Premier League Primary Stars, an initiative designed to help develop children’s skills and ambition both on and off the sports field. She is also a Global Ambassador for Grassroots Soccer.
Her professionalism, intellect and versatility make Rachel Riley ideal for a variety of corporate opportunities, from hosting company awards ceremonies, chairing panel debates and discussions to fronting PR campaigns.