6.3/10
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10 user 1 critic

Countdown 

The long-running words and numbers game.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Carol Vorderman ...  Herself - Hostess / ... 4,756 episodes, 1982-2008
Richard Whiteley Richard Whiteley ...  Himself - Host / ... 3,984 episodes, 1982-2007
Susie Dent Susie Dent ...  Herself - Lexicographer / ... 2,706 episodes, 1992-2017
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Storyline

Two contestants compete through three types of rounds. In the letters rounds, they use nine randomly drawn letters to form the longest word possible. In the numbers rounds, they must use arithmetic to combine six randomly drawn numbers and get as close to a random three-digit target number as possible. Finally, in the Conundrum round, they must rearrange a set of words totaling nine letters to form a single word. Contestants stay on the show until they either lose a game or retire undefeated as an "Octochamp" after eight wins. At the end of each series, the top eight players are invited back to compete for a prize package that includes a set of dictionaries. Written by Alan Back

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Game-Show

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Channel 4 [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1982 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1982-2001) | (2001-)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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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

Featured in TV's 50 Greatest Stars (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Why it's a hit
19 March 2004 | by mpulhamSee all my reviews

Just because this show is on in the dead of the afternoon, don't dismiss it as lightweight. This show is a hit and has had such a long run because it is intelligent and does not rely on stupid stunts or gimmicks. Thirty seconds to produce a word from nine randomly picked letters is difficult to say the least, and the numbers game is even harder. It's one of the programs I miss most since moving to Canada. Sure Whiteley's jokes are bad, but that is part of the fun. In a TV world where shows like Survivor and Temptation Island get all the attention and millions of viewers, it's great that there are still some programs that need some brain power to get prizes. I'm not surprised that Countdown has lasted so long.


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