Countdown’s Rachel Riley red-faced by rude word

COUNTDOWN star Rachel Riley has joked about staying away from the game show’s letter tiles, after she spelt out a rude word on screen.

Countdown star Rachel Riley had an awkward moment with letter tiles yesterday. Picture: Neil Hanna

The 29-year-old presenter laughed nervously as she put up the letters S, L, U and T in Monday’s episode of Channel 4’s words and numbers competition.

Things got even more awkward when she also turned over a Z, as she urged host Nick Hewer to move on, saying: “Let’s speed this along.”

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The incident, which Riley dubbed an “occupational hazard”, got laughs from contestant Chris Reeves as well as the studio crowd, but the University of Oxford graduate maintained her professionalism throughout.

The Strictly Come Dancing star tweeted afterwards, writing: “Never work with kids, animals or letters tiles ... ! #OccupationalHazard”

The clanger happened on Riley’s first day back on the programme after she returned from a two-week holiday in Bali.

The mishap prompted some viewers to have a titter on the behalf of the star and the show.

Simon Meadows, using the nickname flashfanatic1, wrote: “Ooooohhhh how rude!”, but many fans praised Riley’s cool reaction.

Rachel Riley grimaces through an embarrassing moment on Countdown. Picture: Contributed

Pace Robertson tweeted: “Rachel Riley is the only reason I watch Countdown,” while a user with the name of gordondeans said: “Rachel Riley from Countdown is actually amazing!”

Looci Sohma posted: “Thanks for the lols @RachelRileyRR @C4Countdown #countdown #slut #rachelriley #oops,” and S Judge aka @Judgemental01 wrote: “Rachel Riley is the business #countdown #brains #beauty”

This is not the first time an unfortunate letters combination has created a naughty word on Countdown.

Dictionary Corner guest Myleene Klass spelled out “gobs***e” during her appearance on the show earlier this year, as she put forward the eight-letter word as a suggestion.

Riley is no stranger to rude words, when she pulled out the word “m***e” in 2012 and a**e” in 2013.

In April, two contestants came up with the eight-letter solution “erection” in the word game, while Hairy Biker David Myers produced the eight-letter word “todgers” last October.