Carol Vorderman graduated from Cambridge University (with third class honours in Engineering) in 1981, and a year later landed her first, and longest-running, TV job as a hostess on the game show Countdown (her mother had actually applied on her behalf, and forged Carol’s signature on the application form!).
While continuing with Countdown, she started to branch out into other programmes, her engineering background being an asset in shows such as the BBC science-made-simple series Take Nobody’s Word For It.
However, it was not until the 1990s that she became a true TV personality. Seen by TV executives and the public as “beauty with brains”, she started to become almost ubiquitous. A natural choice to front science and technology programmes, she was brought in to front the relaunch of BBC1’s long-running Tomorrow’s World show in 1994, though the revamp was not a huge success, and before long she had decamped to host the rival ITV show, What Will They Think Of Next?.
By this point, Carol had broken out of the science genre and was also making her mark as a lifepresenter. She even had a stint as host of The National Lottery Live, a programme about as far removed from science and education as you could get. Since 1998 she has worked exclusively for ITV in a “golden handcuffs” deal (her ITV contract does, however, allow her to continue as hostess on Countdown, where she is signed up until 2006). ITV doesn’t really do science and technology anymore, so her appearances have been restricted to lifeshows and light entertainment jamborees such as the Daily Mirror Pride Of Britain Awards.
Outside television, she has become a best-selling author with maths books and, on a completely different tack, her Detox books and videos.