The long-running words and numbers game.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Herself - Hostess / ... (4,756 episodes, 1982-2008)
Richard Whiteley ...
 Himself - Host / ... (3,984 episodes, 1982-2007)
Susie Dent ...
 Herself - Lexicographer / ... (2,705 episodes, 1992-2016)
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The long-running words and numbers game.

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Game-Show

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Release Date:

2 November 1982 (UK)  »

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(1982-2001) | (2001-)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

25 themed specials were recorded between 2002 and 2003, of which only 23 were broadcast (in 2003-2005), and which each featured two previous contestants. The other two specials were never broadcast because they were presented by Richard Whiteley, and as the specials were only intended to be broadcast infrequently (some were scheduled, others shown in place of cricket matches), Whiteley died in 2005 before the last two could be shown and they have not been broadcast since. One was based around the theme of a replayed final, and the other was based around the theme of old Countdownians. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Grand Tour: The Holy Trinity (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Counting Down Now... *click*
4 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Countdown, Channel 4's longest running and first programme to air on the network. The concept is simple: 9 random letters, make the longest word you can. Repeat four times. Now get six numbers of any combination from 1-10 twice over and/or 25, 50, 75 or 100 all once-over. Have a huge sum total and try to get to it using only addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Now repeat all of that three times over, chuck in a 9 letter word scrambled up, descramble it, thank you, goodnight.

Okay, so its a popular programme. It turned purple in 2003 for its new set (although it looked like somebody had started hanging wallpaper and left the job half finished) and the show later changed timeslot as well which caused a major upset in the political world of the House of Commons with an early day motion tabled to get Channel 4 to shift it back again! I kid you not.

One thing that strikes you when you first see this show is Richard Whiteley, or rather what he's wearing. This man must go out of his way to pick some awful blazer in some shocking colour and/or pattern and then choose a tie that doesn't complement it or the background in any way whatsoever. I thought there was something wrong with my set when I turned Countdown on one day and there was Mr Whiteley in some god-awful blazer that looks like the sort of interference you get when you use a mobile phone next to the TV set.

Fortunately the shocking blazers don't happen *that* often I'm pleased to say and you can see this man in "normal" attire most of the time.

Carol Vorderman launched her TV career on the back of this. Initially wandering on to do the numbers game, now she does everything. She works well with Richard. It's incredible to think that we are now on series 52 and these two presenters have featured in every single episode to date, which is well over 3000 episodes by now.

The show "expanded" to a 45min format in 2002 from its previous 30min format which tided it over for 20yrs. While the 30min format indeed felt "cramped" at times, You now get the impression that there's too much time to fill under the 45min format which might explain why there's more yakking overall.

Still, beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

Worth watching though but will eventually grate as the format doesn't change. When it does, watch something else for a few months.


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