CAROL Vorderman has shared her memories of hew first days on Countdown.

Her appearance on the show almost 40 years ago started her career in television.

Now, at the age of 60, Carol is a successful author and presenter - most recently hosting the Pride of Britain Awards.

With an Instagram following of 117,000 hopes to empower women to do what they want and wear what they like - despite comments from "moaners and bullies" who, even in 2021, think its ok to impose their views about what is ok and not ok on women of all ages.

But when Carol accepted the job on Countdown, the world was very different - there were only three television channels (she was the first woman to appear on the fourth) and no social media.

Carol said: "39 years ago today I started on the telly with my beloved Richard Whiteley on Countdown as the first ever show broadcast on the new Channel 4. I was 21. We had 23 cheeky happy laughing years together until he died. The clock stopped too soon and I still miss him.

"But on that first show I had no idea what was going on...none of us did...this was such a big deal back then.

"We were so excited about the 1st show 1982. I had a proper job then & Countdown was an extra.We never thought it would last beyond the 8 weeks it was booked for! I was paid £20 a show which was a fortune to me.

"Richard and I worked hard. We loved our "Countdowners" (everyone who watched). As far as we were concerned we were all one family...all of us, presenters, crew and Countdowners, we were having a good time together.

"Countdown was Channel 4's biggest show week in week out for decades. We pulled 4/5 million viewers every day even though we were only on in the afternoons. But it was a modest show. A loved show.

"Nobody got higher ratings than little old us, with a teapot for a prize, some sticky back letters, a daft maths game and a lot of love."

Carol made 5,000 episodes of Countdown over 26 years - appearing from the show's inception in 1982 until 2008.

She added: "Thank you everyone for letting us have those happy happy years. Thank you to all the Nans, and the shift workers and children coming home from school and everyone who worked in restaurants and cafes (on in their shift breaks) and all of you who shared the love of words and sums and laughing and teasing.

"It meant the world to Whiters and I. It really did

Born in Bedfordshire, Carol's mum brought the family back to home town of Prestatyn.

She attended Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School in Rhyl before studying engineering at Cambridge.

She worked at Dinorwig Power Station in Llanberis for the UK Atomic Energy Authority before embarking on a career in television. That started when her mother noticed a newspaper advert asking for "a woman with good mathematical skills" to appear as co-host on a quiz show for fledgling Channel 4.

Since then she has been a regular on our screens, appearing on Strictly, I'm a Celebrity, and Loose Women.

In a recent Instagram post commenting on a recent feature in Love Sunday, she explained: "A bit of an article saying...well basically saying I do what I like and pay no attention to society's made up rules, because the only thing that's for sure is that those so-called rules keep changing, so where is the logic in following them??? Stupid made up things like you "shouldn't" do things.

"When I was young they told me I 'should' get married at 18 and girls 'shouldn't' go to university and girls certainly 'shouldn't' study anything to do with engines because that's what boys do.

Well I thought politely 'stuff all of that because it's made up nonsense'.

So from being a free school meals comprehensive kid I went to Cambridge at age 17 a year early and studied engineering...

"When I was 39 I wore a short dress to the BAFTAS and the media world went mental...the BBC made a whole show about 'should a women age 39 wear a dress above the knee?' This was in the year 2000, not exactly medieval times.

"Now people laugh at the question 'should a woman of 39 wear a dress above the knee?' but I had to live through off the scale abuse because I'd done it...ridiculous.

"Now the world has better attitudes.

"So now I'm 60. What does it mean? Really? What does age mean at all? It means nothing. Experience, capacity to make people happy, spirit, thoughts and mainly actions...they mean it all.

"Can't be bothered with moaners or bullies or show offs ...they can stuff off.

"We are here once just

"Find what makes you happy and do more of it."