Vorderman and Whiteley were the mainstays of 'Countdown' for 23 years until his death in 2005 - and they only had one disagreement...
Former ‘Countdown’ star Carol Vorderman has revealed that she was paid three times MORE than the show’s presenter, Richard Whiteley, in a new interview in which the subject turned to the gender pay gap.
Speaking on Today FM on Friday (June 8th), the 57 year old explained that the only occasion on which she and her colleague Whiteley – who passed away in 2005 – ever exchanged cross words was a “heated debate” over their salaries when he found out she was earning three times as much.
“I'm going to give you an exclusive here now,” Vorderman told the host, when asked about her thoughts on the gender pay gap. “I can't get involved in that because the only heated debate Richard and I ever had was when he found out that I was being paid three times more than him.”
Carol Vorderman was paid three times more than Richard Whiteley on 'Countdown'
The gender pay gap has been a huge issue in the entertainment industry over the last few years, with many stories coming out about female stars being paid significantly less than their male co-stars, despite similarly billed or important roles. Vorderman’s example, however, is a rare exception.
“The whole gender pay gap thing is not necessarily men versus women. There's a lot of women against women,” Vorderman explained about the ongoing debate and how it spills over on social media.
“Trolling on Twitter – it's not just men having a go at women, it's often women having a go at women which I kind of think, 'Where's the sisterhood gone?'. I'm glad it's being discussed, though, and it is out in the open now.”
‘Countdown’ continues to this day on Channel 4, with Nick Hewer in the presenter’s chair and Rachel Riley fulfilling Vorderman’s own role, which she had held down since the show began way back in 1982. Last year, Vorderman revealed that she hasn’t been invited back to the ‘Countdown’ studios ever since she left in 2008.
“I was on ‘Countdown’ for 26 years and I've not been allowed back in the studio since,” she said. “About six months after I left, they had the 5,000th episode and I absolutely wasn't invited. It's not bitterness – I wish them all the best. Life moves on, doesn't it?”