Countdown Susie Dent’s private life – co-star pals, heartache and hidden family

Susie Dent is best known for being the super-smart lexicographer on Channel 4's Countdown, but what do you know about her personal life? Not much we bet…

Well, The Daily Star has taken a deeper dive into what goes on behind the scenes of the bright TV star's life.

We've come to find that despite spending lots of time learning new words, she also has plenty more things to occupy her, including co-star friendships and two children.

Let's take a look at what else goes on inside the life of one of the cleverest but private women on the tele…

Co-star pals

Susie Dent first appeared on the show in 1992 and has been a staple of the iconic Dictionary Corner on the Channel 4 show ever since.

The star remains part of the current Countdown line-up, alongside Rachel Riley, and new host Anne Robinson.

Rachel joined the programme in 2009 and also works on spin-off show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown with Susie.

The TV pair are also close friends off-screen, with Susie describing pal Rachel as “amazing”.

She once said: “Rachel is amazing, as is Nick Hewer! It was a tough time at the beginning, having a complete change of personnel, I felt quite nervous about it.

“She was brilliant from the start, I admire her work and she is also incredibly kind."

Susie added: “Plus she is loads of fun! She is a very good friend to have and I’m glad that comes across on both shows.

“It’s a cliche to say we’re all one big family, but it really is!"

Husband heartache

Earlier this year, Susie and her husband Paul Atkins split after 20 years of marriage.

It is thought the pair met in the 90s and got married back in 2001 but unfortunately struggled to keep their marriage on top form in recent years.

Paul is said to be an experienced primary school teacher, who is based in Oxford.

At the time, a source told The Sun: “It’s obviously a very sad situation, but Susie has handled everything stoically.

“She has ploughed on professionally with all aspects of her working life and is simply trying to make the most of a heartbreaking scenario."

It was reported Susie and her teacher former beau "did all they could" to make their marriage work.

The source continued: “Obviously Susie and Paul did all they could to make things work, but decided in the end to part ways.”

Luckily, the ex-partners have apparently been able to remain on amicable terms, says the insider.

Family focus

Susie also has two daughters, Lucy, 20, and Thea, 12, but she tries not to put them in the public eye if she can help it.

She shares both girls with her ex-husband, who she also tried to keep out of the limelight.

According to reports, Susie and Paul will continue to put their daughters first and will work hard on coming to the best arrangement possible regarding their care.

Susie rarely opens up about her private life and says there's a "good reason" for that too.

Speaking about her choice to keep her private life, well, private, she said: "I've been a worrier for as long as I can remember.

"When I was growing up, I worried that people would dismiss me as a boring swot because I always had my nose in a vocabulary book — usually in French or German.

"My constant fear was that people were judging me, although, more recently, I've come to an understanding that that needn't be in a negative way."

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