Celeb praises the hero who overcame his cleft lip.

The challenge of a double cleft lip.

Vorderman kids

Vorderman kids—Carol & Anton

Combine a couple of American game show hosts—pretty Vanna White and brainy Meredith Vieira*—and what do you get? England’s Carol Vorderman who until recently hosted England’s very popular game show Countdown.**

Ms Vorderman, no stranger to making news, recently praised her ‘brave’ brother who was born with a double cleft lip and palate. According to WalesOnline news,  Vorderman has begun donating her considerable wardrobe of designer dresses to The Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) to auction off in honor of her brother, Anton.

Carol Vorderman at white board show demonstrating  math skill

Vorderman shows her math skills

Carol Vorderman

The 53-year-old long-term game hostess is a math whiz, a graduate of Cambridge University, and a strong supporter of CLAPA.

She says her cheeks would burn with anger, growing up, as she watched the way others reacted to Anton’s appearance: gawking,  doing double-takes, teasing him.

“Anton had been born with a cleft palate and a double hare lip and, by the time he’d become a teenager, countless operations had left him with a noticeable deformity,” she says.


Anton & Carol Vorderman middle aged—standing nxt to ea other

Brother and sister.

“Our dad left us when I was just three weeks old, and Anton, who’d become too shy to even go out, stayed with me in our tiny flat and became something of a father figure.

“It was [he ]who taught me  to play chess and do [math] sums. “We spent a lot of time together and, were it not for that I might never have gone to Cambridge or had the courage to audition for Countdown.”

Countdown star Vorderman

Countdown star Vorderman








*White was featured in a Playboy pictorial and was involved with several game shows (The Price Is Right,  Game Show Moments Gone Bananas, and of course Wheel of Fortune ). Vieira is an American journalist, talk show participant, and game show host (Today, The View, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?). She graduated magna cum laude  from Tufts University.


**According to Wiki, Countdown features a celebrity guest on every show. They compete with another guest on each episode  in three disciplines: ten letters rounds, in which the contestants attempt to make the longest word possible from 9 randomly chosen letters; 4 numbers rounds, in which the contestants must use arithmetic to reach a random target number from 6 other numbers; and the conundrum, a buzzer round in which the contestants compete to solve a nine-letter anagram.




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To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.

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