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Celebrity Letters & Numbers: Lily Serna was ‘in awe’ of the quick-witted comedians

She’s used to being the smartest person in the room.

But Letters & Numbers mathematician Lily Serna admits she was ‘in awe’ of the sharp-witted guests on the upcoming celebrity edition of the SBS show.

The 35-year-old told The Daily Telegraph she couldn’t believe how smart and ‘quick on their feet’ the comedians were during filming.

‘Lightning speed’: Letters & Numbers mathematician Lily Serna (right) has admitted she was ‘in awe’ of the sharp-witted guests on the upcoming celebrity edition of the SBS show. Pictured with dictionary expert David Astle (left) and host Michael Hing (centre)

‘It was so much fun. I’ve never been in a room with so many comedians,’ she said.

‘It was an absolute ball. They are just so quick on their feet. I’m just in awe of the way their minds work, the way they link ideas and respond – it’s lightning speed.

‘I can hand on heart say they were all genuinely lovely people.’

Sharp: Lily, 35, said she couldn't believe how smart and 'quick on their feet' the comedians were during filming. The likes of Hamish Blake (pictured), Matt Okine, Merrick Watts, Jennifer Wong, Aaron Chen and Susie Youssef will feature on Celebrity Letters & Numbers

Sharp: Lily, 35, said she couldn’t believe how smart and ‘quick on their feet’ the comedians were during filming. The likes of Hamish Blake (pictured), Matt Okine, Merrick Watts, Jennifer Wong, Aaron Chen and Susie Youssef will feature on Celebrity Letters & Numbers

After nine years of late-afternoon repeats, SBS has commissioned new episodes of cult quiz show Letters & Numbers. 

The reboot is hosted by comedian Michael Hing, replacing former ABC news anchor Richard Morecroft, who fronted the original show from 2010 to 2012.

Mathematician Lily Serna and dictionary expert David Astle are returning for the series, which features celebrities as contestants instead of ordinary Aussies. 

Guess who's back! After nine years of late-afternoon repeats, SBS has finally commissioned new episodes of cult quiz show Letters & Numbers. Pictured (L to R): mathematician Lily Serna, host Richard Morecroft and dictionary expert David Astle

Guess who’s back! After nine years of late-afternoon repeats, SBS has finally commissioned new episodes of cult quiz show Letters & Numbers. Pictured (L to R): mathematician Lily Serna, host Richard Morecroft and dictionary expert David Astle

The likes of Hamish Blake, Matt Okine, Merrick Watts, Jennifer Wong, Aaron Chen and Susie Youssef will feature across 12 hour-long episodes. 

Hing is a co-host of Triple J’s drive-time show, and also presented SBS’s ancestry series Where Are You Really From? in 2018.

SBS’s Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald, previously said: ‘Letters & Numbers has been entertaining Australian audiences for over a decade, and we’re thrilled to bring it back to SBS in this new format. 

New look: The reboot will be hosted by comedian Michael Hing (pictured in 2019), replacing former ABC news anchor Richard Morecroft, who fronted the original show from 2010 to 2012

New look: The reboot will be hosted by comedian Michael Hing (pictured in 2019), replacing former ABC news anchor Richard Morecroft, who fronted the original show from 2010 to 2012

‘Celebrity Letters & Numbers brings together a large cast of comedic personalities for an evening of compulsive games that will have the whole family playing along.

‘SBS aims to provide Australians with programming that entertains, educates and unites, and the revival of this cult quiz show is a testament to its dedicated fans. We can’t wait for you to join us every Saturday evening.’

Despite only running for two years, Letters & Numbers has achieved cult status since its cancellation in 2012 due to its daily repeats on SBS.

Popular: Serna became a fan favourite during her years on Letters & Numbers

Popular: Serna became a fan favourite during her years on Letters & Numbers

The show had an average audience of 130,000 when it was axed, and old episodes still get about 90,000 viewers in the late-afternoon time slot.

The program was based on the popular British quiz show Countdown and the French program Des chiffres et des lettres.

Since the last episode of Letters & Numbers was recorded, Morecroft has retired to the country and Serna has welcomed her first child.

In December 2019, Astle was appointed as host of the Evenings radio program on ABC Radio Melbourne, replacing Lindy Burns.

Celebrity Letters & Numbers premieres Saturday at 7:35pm on SBS

Memorable: Despite only running for two years, Letters & Numbers has achieved cult status due to its daily repeats on SBS. One memorable episode featured the anagram 'PENISDUMP'

Memorable: Despite only running for two years, Letters & Numbers has achieved cult status due to its daily repeats on SBS. One memorable episode featured the anagram ‘PENISDUMP’ 


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