Carol Vorderman grew up in poverty after her parents split following father's affair

Carol Vorderman attending the premiere of Spitfire, held at the Curzon Mayfair, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Carol Vordeman has opened up on growing up in poverty following her mother's split from her father, Tony Vorderman, after he had an affair.

The former Countdown star has spoken of the hardships her family faced while her mother Jean raised her and her two siblings alone in Prestatyn, North Wales.

"My dad had had an affair while [my mum] was pregnant with me and they’d separated when I was about two weeks old, so she moved back to Wales with us," she told The Mirror.

Read more: Carol Vorderman reveals the secret behind her award-winning bottom

"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.

Host Carol Vorderman (R) with poses with her mother at the 'Cleft Lip and Palate Association' (CLAPA) Grand Jubilee Ball to celebrate it's Silver Jubilee on May 28, 2004 at the Park Lane Hotel. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

"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.

"Afterwards you’d be wrapped in a towel and run towards the gas fire. Normally we’d only have one bar on, but on bath night all three would be on. The joy from having so much heat and knowing I smelt clean!"

While she explained that her childhood "wasn't great", Vorderman did add that it was a "happy one".

Cathy Hytner, Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman Left To Right: Presenters of the Channel 4 TV game show 'Countdown', 01.10.1985. (Photo by Photoshot/Getty Images)

As a teenager, Vorderman received an offer to study engineering at Cambridge, which she described as the "proudest moment" of her life.

Vorderman began hosting Countdown aged 21 after her mother sent off an application for the role on her behalf and she worked on the programme from 1982 until 2008.

Her mother passed away in 2017 at the age of 88 after losing a battle with cancer, while her father died in 2007.