Carol Vorderman: Countdown star shocks co-stars as she reveals ‘birthday suit’ gaffe

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Former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, 59, discussed the many times she innocently referred to her birthday dresses as her “birthday suit”, an informal term for the naked human body, in her younger years.

On her self-titled BBC Radio Wales show last weekend, she encouraged listeners to send in their stories about the best party they had been to or thrown themselves.

Opening up about her own memory, she explained: “I was in Prestatyn for the first ten years of my life, we were a very poor family.

“My mum was a single parent and there were for of us in one bedroom.

“I grew up on hand-me-downs, from a wonderful girl who I didn’t actually know but she lived two streets away.

“I think she was a dentist’s daughter, so she had posh stuff.

“I inherited one of her birthday dresses, so I would wear it to every birthday party for those three years, my mother lengthened it.

“I now know that my mum used to allow me to say, because it made her laugh, ‘Mum can I wear my birthday suit?’”

Carol’s admission prompted her and her co-stars Owain and Nathan to burst into laughter as one of them repeated the funny phrase.

Trying to contain her laughter, she added: “It obviously means something entirely different.”

Recalling her mum’s response at the time, she added: “She’d say, ‘Yes, that’s fine Carol off you go’.”

Carol has candidly opened up about growing up in poverty in the past after her dad left the family.

Detailing her home life, she told The Mirror: “I shared a bed with my mum until I was nine, as there were four of us in one bedroom.

“There was no central heating, you’d put another jumper on.

“Every Sunday night, mum would put money in the meter to have one tub of hot water.

“The question was always, ‘Who’s having first water?’

“Usually it was me, as I was the little one, then my brother, mother and sister.”

Despite her hard beginnings, Carol went on to have a successful career after studying at Sidney Sussex College and Cambridge university.

She is best known for showcasing her mathematical talents on Channel 4 show Countdown from 1982 until 2008.

Following her departure, she was replaced by maths whizz Rachel Riley.

The Carol Vorderman show continues this Saturday at 11.30am on BBC Radio Wales.

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