|First appearance||2 January 2007|
|Last appearance||12 December 2008|
|Episodes with Des O'Connor|
Des O'Connor (b. 12 January 1932) was presenter of Countdown from January 2007 till December 2008. He took over from Des Lynam at the start of Series 56. He left at the end of Series 59. His last episode saw Junaid Mubeen becoming Series 59 champion. O'Connor was replaced by Jeff Stelling.
O'Connor started off life as a variety performer where he appeared on stage both singing and telling jokes. He got his own show in 1963, The Des O'Connor Show and since 1963 has had a run of television entertainment shows, including Des O'Connor Entertains and Des O'Connor Tonight, which ran for 26 years before it was cancelled. Between 2002 and 2006 he hosted Today with Des and Mel with Melanie Sykes. The show was cancelled in 2006, but since then O'Connor had been the host of Countdown.
O'Connor was not just known for his light entertainment, he was a singer and had a UK #1 with I Pretend. His crooning style was often mocked by comedians, particularly Morecambe & Wise, and he took such criticism in good spirit.
O'Connor's autobiography is titled Bananas Don't Fly. The title comes from an incident in his childhood and encapsulates his philosophy that if you want good things, you must make the effort to get them rather than expecting them to come to you.
O'Connor is the only host of Countdown to have never presided over a Championship of Champions.