Words and numbers based quiz presided over by Richard Whiteley from its inception in 1982 until his death in 2005. Des Lynam took over as host and after leaving at the end of 2006 he was replaced by Des O'Connor. The two contestants pick 9 letters and in 30 seconds try to make the longest word they can. There were 2 numbers based rounds done on the same principle as the letters rounds but the contestants trying to reach a random computer generated number. Hostess of the show (letter picker, number cruncher) is Carol Vorderman. The final round is the Countdown Conundrum (a nine letter anagram). Also involved are various celebrities (these have included Gyles Brandreth, Kenneth Williams, Richard Stilgoe and the like) who sit in 'dictionary corner' helping a word judge to verify the contestants words and chip in with a few of their own. The show (based on a French original called Des Chiffres et des Lettres) was the first programme to be seen on Channel Four on Tuesday 2nd November 1982 at 4.45pm, but it actually started life as a regional show called Calendar Countdown and screened in the Yorkshire region.

Des and Carol left the show at the end of 2008 and where replaced by Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley.

Episode Info

Prev: 74x77 -- Episode 6354 (Apr/28/2016)

Nick and Rachel present as two contestants battle it out against the clock to find the longest words from the letters available and also try to solve different number games. The contestant at the end of the show with the most amount of points wins the game. Charlotte Hawkins is today's Dictionary Corner guest.

Nick HewerNick Hewer
As Himself (Series 66-)
Rachel RileyRachel Riley
As Herself (Series 60-)
Jeff StellingJeff Stelling
As Himself (Series 60-65)
Carol VordermanCarol Vorderman
As Herself (Series 1-60)
Des ODes O'Connor
As Himself (Series 56-59)
Desmond LynamDesmond Lynam
As Himself (Series 54-55)
Richard WhiteleyRichard Whiteley
As Himself (Series 1-53)

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Series Producer: Damian Eadie

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Recurring Guests

Susie Dent (3425 eps)
Richard Samson (323 eps)
Gyles Brandreth (296 eps)
Mark Nyman (294 eps)
Catherine Clarke (2) (243 eps)
Della Thompson (233 eps)
Richard Stilgoe (231 eps)
Damian Eadie (231 eps)
Freda Thornton (202 eps)
Nigel Rees (186 eps)

View All Recurring Guests
Classification: Game Show
Genre: Family
Status: Returning Series
Network: Channel 4 ( United Kingdom)
Airs: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 03:10 pm
Runtime: 45 Minutes
Premiere: November 02, 1982
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