I have to say that I find Countdown to be potentially one of the most soul destroyingly boring shows ever invented, but one thing brightens it up as a viewing experience…
And that is when the letters picked by whichever maths genius is in residence spell out a childishly naughty word, and yesterday, Rachel Riley was the Countdown God’s latest victim when she had to spell out the word ‘MINGE’.
However, as the Daily Mirror reports, the truly professional Rachel didn’t bat an eyelid, and nor did host Nick Hewer, but the same couldn’t be said for the sniggering Dictionary Corner dwellers Susie Dent and Jon Culshaw, who giggled helplessly.
The oopsy moment came after champion Suzi Purcell declared a seven letter word, MINGERS, while her opponent, Elaine Rhodes, lost out with EMERSING, which doesn’t appear in the dictionary… Read more & comment »
Comedian and game show host Alexander Armstrong – who presents just plain naff game show Pointless on BBC – has revealed that the former boss of the corporation, Jay Hunt, blocked him from taking on the role as presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown.
He apparently decided to apply for the role of host on Countdown in 2008, but at the time, he sketch show, Armstrong and Miller – which co-starred Ben Miller – was at the height of its popularity.
Speaking to the Mirror, Alexander said, “She [Hunt] hit the roof when she heard that it was in the offing.
“You have to be very careful about those sorts of things. You think you’re a free agent but you’re not.
“I knew she was somebody who held power over a lot of key decisions on things I held dear and that if I did it, it would really p*** her off… Read more & comment »
Loose Women star Carol Vorderman has revealed that when she worked on Countdown, a man who was stalking her was eventually sectioned as he believed Carol was speaking directly to him through his TV.
Carol made the revelation while recording an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, during which she also discussed the breakdown of her marriage to Patrick King, and her glamorous transformation from frumpy maths geek to sultry siren.
Of the stalkers who’ve plagued her, she explained, “I have had stalkers over the years. The police deal with it but it is very scary.
“One man kept turning up where we filmed Countdown in Leeds, which was scary.
“It was sad as he’d been sectioned and thought I was talking to him through the TV…” Read more & comment »
It’s been revealed today that The Apprentice star Nick Hewer is to take over from Jeff Stelling as the host of long running game show, Countdown.
Nick – who’s Lord Alan Sugar’s right hand man on The Apprentice – apparently won the role thanks to his “wit and charm.”
He beat off other contenders for the job, including, according to the Daily Mirror, Sue Barker, Liza Tarbuck, Terry Wogan, Aled Jones, Rory Bremner and show regular Giles Brandreth.
A Channel 4 insider told the paper, “He was so witty and charming they were just blown away.”
And a spokeswoman for the channel added, “We are absolutely delighted to have Nick on board.
“He is such a fantastic character and has a huge fan base so he’ll make a great addition to the team.”
Nick is expected to begin his new job next month, with his first on-screen appearance airing in the New Year. Maths whiz Rachel Riley will remain as… erm, well, the letter handler and adder uppererer… Read more & comment »
As part of a series of TV events to celebrate Channel 4’s 30th birthday next year, a host of the network’s top TV talent will swap jobs.
Comedian Jimmy Carr is set to be a temporary host on Countdown, presiding over his fellow comics Sean Lock and Jon Richardson, who’ll tackle the words and numbers as contestants.
Meanwhile, Chatty Man Alan Carr will oust Kirstie Allsopp to team up with property guru Phil Spencer and present a special edition of Location Location.
And in turn, Phil will take over Davina McCall’s role on Million Pound Drop, while she will play the game herself, trying to raise money for charity.
The Sun also adds that Made In Chelsea stars will be “cooking each other a feast” on a Come Dine With Me Special.
The shows – which have been called ‘Channel 4 Mash Up – will air on just one jam packed night next January. Read more & comment »
After first resigning, then changing his mind and asking to stay, it’s now official that Countdown host Jeff Stelling will be replaced as host of the show.
The Daily Mirror reports that Channel 4 chief Jay Hunt “has been inundated” with interest from other celebrities who want the job of host, and has therefore decided to bring in “a new face.”
A source said yesterday, “Jeff really hoped to stay on Countdown. He loves doing the show and felt he could have made a mistake by quitting.
“But we felt he messed us around a bit… Read more & comment »
Clarke Carlisle will be the first Premier League player to appear on Channel 4′s Countdown.
Clarke, who first applied for the show eight years ago, told The Sun: “It was fantastic.
Read more & comment »
Former Countdown brainiac Carol Vorderman has revealed that she will be writing a book about her experiences on the Channel 4 quiz show.
Carol will reveal all about the circumstances leading up to her departure from the show and the demand that she take a 90% pay cut or leave.
Carol told The Sun:
“I’ve never considered writing my autobiography before, probably because, by the yardstick of today, I am a very private person.
Read more & comment »
The new Countdown co-host, Rachel Riley, has reportedly been “struggling” to meet the high standards set by Carol Vorderman on the show.
22-year-old Rachel, an Oxford graduate, took over from Carol while presenter Jeff Stelling replaced host Des O’Connor.
Sources from Channel 4 have claimed that in the first few weeks of the show, Rachel couldn’t solve the number puzzles as quickly and accurately as Carol. One of the sources told the News of the World,
“It’s clear she hasn’t managed to match Carol’s skills yet. If the contestants couldn’t solve a problem Carol would quickly do it for them. But during the filming for her first fifteen episodes the new girl made some mistakes.” Read more & comment »
Carol Vorderman yesterday filmed her final appearance on the show in which she’s starred for 26 years.
She couldn’t hold back the tears as she filmed the last of more than 4,750 episodes of the Channel 4 show.
She choked back her emotions and told the Daily Mirrior, “I know that not having Countdown will leave a massive hole in my life and that is so sad.”
Carol, 47, quit after a row over her pay in which Countdown bosses told her she must accept a 90% cut in her reported £1.2 million-a-year contract.
In a special compilation of clips to mark her career with Coundown, Carol was “reunited” with late host Richard Whiteley as clips of the two were played.
Read more & comment »
Strictly Come Dancing star, John Sergeant, is being tipped to take over from Des O’Connor as presenter of Countdown.
During the last week it has been revealed that Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and comic Alexander Armstrong both said “No” when offered the role.
An insider told The Sun: “Alexander turned it down flat and Jeff doesn’t reckon he can balance it with his Sky Sports work. So producers have set their sights on John. They were thinking of a younger presenter, but John has a massive fanbase through Strictly.”
Read more & comment »
Former King Of The Jungle, Christopher Biggins has revealed that he has been approached about replacing Des O’Connor on Countdown, but is unsure if he can fit it around his busy Christmas time schedule.
“I’d love to do it,” he said. “They are talking to me but the problem is they are going to be filming while I’m doing pantomime in Southampton. I’m playing Buttons in Cinderella. So there’s a whole process going on.”
TV comedian, Rory Bremner, has revealed that he turned down the chance to take over as the new Countdown host.
Rory stated that though he was flattered to be appraoched by Channel 4 bosses, he felt that the job was not for him.
“Countdown is a unique show with a very loyal audience and for that reason, I felt that they needed someone who was part of the Countdown family, like Jo Brand,” Bremner told MediaGuardian.co.uk. “It was great to be asked, but I was worried I would fail the physical!”
Read more & comment »
We brought you the news yesterday, that Carol Vorderman was leaving Channel 4 game show, Countdown after 26 years of loyal service.
At first it was thought that Carol was quitting because Des O’Connor was leaving the show and she couldn’t bear the thought of bonding with another presenter. However, Carol has spoken out today and claimed that she was actually forced out of her job by Channel 4 bosses.
Carol’s agent, John Miles has revealed that Carol was told she could take a 90% pay cut or get out, and given only 48 hours to decide. She then offered to take a 33% budget cut being imposed on the show by ITV Productions, which makes Countdown for Channel 4. But this wasn’t good enough, she was told that the show had survived Richard Whiteley’s death and could easily survive her.
Carols agent stated: “I was stunned that my client’s 26 loyal years were discarded in such a cavalier manner,” he said.
“Having said that, Carol has never claimed she is indispensable.” Read more & comment »
I’m sure that Channel 4 bosses were relieved to read Amy Winehouse’s recent interview with OK magazine.
They may have lost their presenter, Des O’Connor and long serving genius, Carol Vorderman, but it’s all going to be ok because Amy Winehouse wants to appear on their show.
Winehouse admitted to the magazine: “I like Countdown. I would love to go on Countdown. On my life, I would love to go on Countdown!”
I bet they feel much better now