A SOUTHEND TV presenter and mathematician is celebrating more success after landing her “dream job” with two roles on Sky TV.

Rachel Riley, 30, who was born in Rochford before moving to the Thorpe Bay, will join Sky Sports to present Friday Night Football alongside her former Countdown co-presenter Jeff Stelling.

She will also be presenting Fantasy Football Club with Max Rushden and Paul Merson.

Since 2009, she has been the co-presenter of Countdown, replacing Carol Vorderman.

She applied for the job aged 22, and was thrilled to get the “one cool job” in maths.

Rachel, who attended Thorpe Hall School and Southend High School for Girls, is a big football fan and an avid supporter of Manchester United.

Her dad, Chris, said she had picked up his love of the beautiful game, which will stand her in good stead.

He said: “I am the reason she supports Manchester United.

“She is a huge Manchester United fan.”

Chris added: “I am a season ticket holder as I am from Salford - near Manchester - originally.

“She heard she had got the shows a couple of weeks ago, although she was aware that it was being talked about before then.

“She was over the moon.

“It really is her dream job.

“Rachel is delighted and is really pleased to be working with Jeff Stelling again.”

Rachel will carry on with Countdown and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown - a more risque spin-off of the popular tea-time show, fronted by comedian Jimmy Carr.

She is now “very busy” according to her dad, who still lives in Thorpe Bay with her mum, Celia.

Rachel, who now lives in London, graduated from St Gabriels College, Oxford, with a degree in mathematics before working as a statistical analyst.

She regularly goes into schools to encourage children into subjects such as maths and science, including Southend High School for Girls and Milton Hall Primary School, in Westcliff.

Chris explained: “We didn’t expect her to go on the television.

“She was just a very bright, ordinary girl.

“Rachel had a good time at school and is still in touch with some of her friends.

“She didn’t have an ambition to be on the TV at all.

“Rachel was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time with the right qualifications, she is very fortunate.”

He added that Rachel, who has also presented the Gadget Show and It’s Not Rocket Science, was enjoying the opportunities that landing the presenting jobs offered her.

Chris said: “She is having a really good time filming.

“She has had some great experiences being on TV and had met some wonderful people and some famous people as well.”

He added that she had no real plans for any future shows and was just taking things as they came, although she was committed to co-presenting Countdown.

Rachel appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013, but was eliminated in week six of the show.

Proud Chris said: “It did used to feel very odd seeing her on TV, but not so much now.

“We have been to watch her film sometimes and always try to watch her on the TV.

“I watch Countdown every day.

“If we can’t watch one we record it.

“We are really proud of what she has achieved, as I am sure any other parent in our situation would be.”