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Top 10 Rachel Riley Moments

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
She’s definitely more than just a mathematician. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Rachel Riley moments. For this list, we’re looking at the best moments from “Countdown’s” resident maths genius, across her entire career. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Rachel Riley Moments


She’s definitely more than just a mathematician.Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Rachel Riley moments.

For this list, we’re looking at the best moments from “Countdown’s” resident maths genius, across her entire career.

#10: Beaten on “Child Genius”
“Child Genius vs Celebrities: Stand Up 2 Cancer Special” (2016)


Pi is one of the most important concepts in mathematics; it’s so important that it has its own button on a calculator so that people don’t have to try and remember as many of its infinite digits as possible. However, this didn’t matter to the people behind-the-scenes on “Child Genius”, who challenged Rachel and 12-year-old prodigy David to memorise pi up to 200 digits after the decimal place. Unfortunately for her, Rachel slipped up after just a few, allowing David to clinch an easy victory. It’s not often she’s wrong, though!

#9: RoomScan
“The Gadget Show” (2004-)


During her stint on “The Gadget Show”, Rachel continued the series’ legacy of finding an easier way to do things with gadgets – or sometimes a much more complicated way to do them. Going up against Mark Millar, veteran “DIY SOS” builder, they compete to remodel a home in the easiest and most effective way. She shows off the app RoomScan, which manages to accurately measure a room just by holding up your device to the walls, as well as using a quadcopter to take aerial photos of the roof. Paint us impressed.

#8: Putting the Bouncer Syndrome in Room 101
“Room 101” (2012-)


When she made an appearance on the revival of “Room 101”, we finally got to know what really gets on Rachel’s nerves – and it’s not Jimmy Carr’s constant jokes about her being bad at dancing. The thing she really hates is people who think they’re more important than they actually are just because they’re in uniform. She tells a story of how a supermarket worker refused to sell her 21-year-old brother a four-pack of beer because he didn’t have ID, despite being completely covered in tattoos.

#7: Mocking Nick Hewer
“Countdown” (1982-)


It’s not only the “Cats” version that has all the laughs, regular “Countdown” has a fair few funny moments as well. When discussing iconic pop artist Andy Warhol, whose works of art are some of the most recognisable images in the world, Nick expresses his disdain for the pop art movement. Rachel defends Warhol’s iconography, but takes it one step further and tells Nick that the “only creative thing [she’s seen him do] was on the ‘Bake Off’.” And to be fair, he was kind of rubbish on that… but he takes it well.

#6: Street Fighter II Turbo
“Dara O’Briain’s Go 8-Bit” (2016-)


When Riley went toe-to-toe with Russell Howard on “Dara O Briain’s Go 8-Bit”, it became obvious that she has clearly played “Street Fighter II Turbo” before – because she completely destroys him. Russell’s Guile is absolutely no match for Rachel’s Chun Li, as twice in a row she beats him without him managing to even get one hit in. Their entire competition is over in less than a minute, and Rachel has another skill to add to her repertoire. At least Russell’s not a sore loser and finds the humour in his embarrassing defeat.

#5: Innuendo Bingo
BBC Radio 1


It’s the BBC Radio1 game that really popularised celebrities spitting at each other, and Rachel’s been on and played it twice. Mouth full of water, she battles Chris as they try not to laugh at the various innuendos played for them over the speakers. You’d think that spending so much time trying not to laugh at inappropriate words on “Countdown” would make her a bit better at this, but she simply can’t hold it in when listening to recordings of herself saying potentially-inappropriate things. They end up soaked.

#4: Winning “The Chase”
“The Chase” (2009-)


In June 2018, history was made on a celebrity special edition of “The Chase.” Rachel and teammate Kirsty Gallacher didn’t just raise a lot of money for their chosen charity, Unicef, they won the highest amount ever won on the show so far - £160,000 – in an incredibly intense Final Chase against the Dark Destroyer, Shaun Wallace. This came after her risky head-to-head, where she had to take one step closer to the Chaser in order to turn £7,000 into £120,000 and impressively only got one question wrong.

#3: No Friends
“8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown” (2012-)


While there’s no shortage of brilliant moments on “Countdown’s” evil, late-night twin, this one is definitely at the top. The comedians are faced with a math problem that they decide is impossible when none of them even come close, but Rachel ultimately proves there’s at least two separate ways to solve it. They resort to asking her “what happened to [her]” and if she has any friends. Rachel declaring that “the numbers are [her] friends” is as funny as it is tragic. At least she’ll always have Susie Dent.

#2: Crystal Maze World Puzzle
“The Crystal Maze” (2017-)


Many celebrities have featured on the newest revival of popular game show “The Crystal Maze,” and while some of them are ridiculously bad at the challenges, others are there to show the rest how it’s done. When thrown into a room with three minutes to solve half a dozen anagrams, Riley manages to do it in only 50 seconds, with Richard Ayoade commenting that “those 2,000 episodes of ‘Countdown’ weren’t totally wasted.” It’s almost unfair to put her in a situation she’s had so much practice at, but it certainly was fun to watch!

#1: First Waltz
“Strictly Come Dancing” (2004-)


Knocked out in week six, Rachel didn’t manage one of her often-easy victories when she appeared on “Strictly” – but not everyone can say they met their current partner on live television. Ultimately, her somewhat short time on the dancefloor proved more significant than had she actually won. Introduced to her partner, professional dancer Pasha Kovalev, for the show’s run, Riley got far more than someone to dance with. While they didn’t take home the title, their first waltz together is certainly a moment they’ll never forget.
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