Vorderman's mother noticed a newspaper advertisement asking for "a woman with good mathematical skills" to appear as co-host on a quiz show for the fledgling fourth terrestrial channel. She submitted an application on behalf of her daughter, then aged 21. Vorderman appeared on Countdown from the show's inception in 1982 until 2008. Initially, Vorderman's only contribution to the show was the numbers game, and she formed part of a five-person presentation team. However, over the following years, the team was pared down, and Vorderman began handling tiles for both the letters and numbers games. Vorderman thus became a new type of game show hostess, revealing her intellectual ability by carrying out fast and accurate arithmetic calculations during the numbers game to reach an exact solution if neither contestant was able to do so. Her lasting success on the show led to her becoming one of the highest-paid women in Britain, ultimately earning her an estimated £1 million per year.