Countdown’s Rachel Riley to get extra security on show after online abuse

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Countdown’s Rachel Riley to get extra security on show after online abuse

Television presenter will get added protection in the wake of antisemitic comments made to her online

Countdown star Rachel Riley. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire
Countdown star Rachel Riley. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Countdown star Rachel Riley has said she is to be given extra security on the programme after receiving abuse online over her comments about antisemitism.

The TV star and maths expert said she has been targeted by Labour supporters on Twitter for her criticisms of the party and leader Jeremy Corbyn amid the ongoing row.

Riley, who is Jewish, has already spoken about being trolled online, but said the problem has worsened and includes physical threats.

She told the Times newspaper: “The more I speak, the more abuse I get, and the more abuse I get, the more I speak.

“It’s got to the point where I can’t look at my Twitter feed any more … it’s just a constant stream.”

She added: “We are getting more security for Countdown.”

A spokesman for Countdown told the Press Association: “It’s not unusual to have security in a studio environment. There will be extra vigilance and increased presence.”

Riley, who has appeared on the Channel 4 daytime programme since 2009, said she believes she is a “target” for speaking up against antisemitism, and that she does not “take it lightly”.

She said: “With the hashtag Get The Tories Out or the red rose or hashtag JC4PM, they say to me ‘You’re only calling out the left’.

“Well, I’ve been attacked by people on the left and the best way to not have me talk about antisemitism on the left is not to be antisemitic.”

Riley has previously stated that she has no political allegiance, and is not a Conservative, although she claims she has been labelled a Tory by supporters of Mr Corbyn.

However, she told the newspaper that she would not vote for Labour now, as she believes the party is “actively encouraging the abuse of people who are standing up to this”.

Earlier this week, Riley recalled the “hideous” feeling of receiving hate-filled abuse for speaking out about antisemitism at the Holocaust Memorial Day reception at the House of Commons.

Mr Corbyn has strongly denied allegations of antisemitism during the controversy that has ripped through his party.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: