Countdown star Susie Dent has broken up with her husband of 20 years, it has been reported.
The 56-year-old wordsmith, who joined the Channel 4 show’s iconic Dictionary Corner in 1992, is believed to have split from her teacher husband Paul Atkins on amicable terms.
The couple, who share two daughters together, have been reportedly living apart for the past year and have told friends and family of their separation.
It is believed that there are no other parties involved in the reason for the split.
A source told The Sun that it is a “very sad situation” and that Susie has “handled everything stoically”.
They continued: “She has ploughed on professionally with all aspects of her working life and is simply trying to make the most of a heartbreaking scenario.
“Obviously Susie and Paul did all they could to make things work, but decided in the end to part ways.”
The Mirror has contacted Susie’s reps for comment.
It comes as Anne Robinson joins the show, replacing Nick Hewer in the hot seat.
Susie has appeared on the show since the early 90s, during which it was presented by late host Richard Whiteley.
The dictionary expert, who also appears on the show’s cheeky spin-off 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, also often delights fans on Twitter with a “word of the day”.
Last year she also helped train Amazon’s Alexa to understand UK regional dialects.
As a result, Amazon says the AI helper is now able to understand a range of regional ways of saying hello, as well as different regional names for dinner, a bread roll, sandwiches, mum and dad, woodlice and children, among others.
“Nowhere is the diversity of English vocabulary more apparent than in Britain. Our local languages are constantly evolving and changing,” she said.