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Nick Hewer quits Countdown

Stepping down sometime in 2021

JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
JAS84 posted:
Ten letters, not nine?

If you watch that’s not the biggest of the differences in the format.
DE
DE88 UTV Newsline
JAS84 posted:
Ten letters, not nine?


It was just seven to begin with. Wink

The duels were introduced in 2000, and the bonus game in 2016.
"What is two plus two?" "Rather more than three." "Yes, but can you be more specific?" "The Belgians."
MA
Meridian AM Recently warned Meridian (South) South Today
Jon posted:
JAS84 posted:
Ten letters, not nine?

If you watch that’s not the biggest of the differences in the format.


Do they still ask ''can I have two from the top please Rachel?''?
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Jon posted:
JAS84 posted:
Ten letters, not nine?

If you watch that’s not the biggest of the differences in the format.


Although the original YTV pilot Calendar Countdown had that difference (if you mean that each round has 45 seconds rather than 30) IIRC
Write that down in your copybook now.
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
Jon posted:
JAS84 posted:
Ten letters, not nine?

If you watch that’s not the biggest of the differences in the format.


Although the original YTV pilot Calendar Countdown had that difference (if you mean that each round has 45 seconds rather than 30) IIRC

That wasn’t really what I was referring to.
CO
Cold Open West Country (East) Points West
I concur with those who have suggested that someone who varies from at least one of the attributes (A) middle-aged/older* (B) white (C) male (D) English**, seems a good shout after five consecutive permanent hosts that are/were all of those things.

(*Yes, I do realise that Richard Whiteley was actually under 40 when it first started in 1982. But, logically, he was 20+ years older than that by the end - which therefore is viewers' lattermost recollection of him as host.)

(**Okay, Des Lynam was born in the Republic of Ireland and his family moved to England when he was 6. But most of the general public would likely perceive him as "English", as he sounds about as Irish as e.g. Julian Fellowes does.)

In an era of things like Jodie Whittaker being the current Doctor Who and Mo Gilligan being due to host next May's revival of The Big Breakfast, I'd be genuinely surprised if Countdown's sixth permanent main host isn't a choice that varies things at least a little.

I guess that Colin Murray - with his distinctive N.I. accent - would qualify as a discernably different choice in at least one way. Plus, nobody as young as 43 has hosted it since Whiteley was that age in 1986-1987.


Or just Rylan Clark-N̶e̶i̶l̶ Neal


FTFY Razz
You f'coffee? ☕
JO
Jonwo
I do hope whoever takes over has a dirty sense of humour like Nick as evident by this outtake:
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Although I think they'll be a bit bolder in their choice if they were to stick with presenters of a certain age Alastair Stewart would be a good shout.

Ultimately though you only need to look at the contestants in recent times to see they need to broaden their appeal - overwhelmingly white and male. They average less than one female contestant a week in recent times, and went a period of three weeks a couple of months back without a single female contestant.
Last edited by Brekkie on 8 December 2020 12:17am
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
PE
Pete Founding member North Reporting Scotland
So I appreciate everyone has to be very Daily Mail about things on here but honestly if you'd step back and actually think for a moment.

Countdown is unusual in that it has three hosts, and while the nominal "host" is a man, in reality its the two women co-hosts that run the show, the "host" just keeps score and introduces the contestants. Rachel and Susie are the stars of the show, and of Cats does Countdown, whereas Nick is much lower profile (although very good).

Therefore taking a show from 66/33 to 100% women I'd suggest is unlikely as it's already, subtly a female dominated show. Especially given that, unlike panel shows that rely on mostly male standups, they get a reasonable spread of contestants.

If Channel 4 were thinking of a proactive diverse hire than its far more likely to be a non-white choice, although that said non-SE also counts and Colin Murray is a good suggestion on that front too.

Edit
Just to add to this, there’s also the grammar of the show. So while theoretically you could run the show without Nick you couldn’t run it without Susie or Rachel.

But if you get Susie to cover both DC and Host then you end up with her saying “what did you get” then telling them all how they could have done better in the same breath. That would come over as smug in a poor way (not an amusing Victoria Coren way) and would ruin the gentle rhythm of the show.
Last edited by Pete on 8 December 2020 12:34am - 2 times in total
ELM 2011: I am sick of been persicuted by you immature TV Forumers!
AS
AlexS Central (East) Midlands Today
None of them seem to be sensible suggestions. Surprised Carol Vorderman's name hasn't been thrown around yet either.

I'm sure the inevitable comments about a potential BAME replacement are doing the rounds in the usual places but what actually is quite saddening is that there aren't too many obvious candidates, if any, which is exactly why that is a conversation that needs to happen when such roles come up. Indeed was thinking today of local North West personalities who could take over and how the late Tony Morris would possibly have been ideal for it.

I think Countdown can get away with lesser known names too - both Jeff Stelling and Nick Hewer would have been new faces to many of the Countdown audience. Saying that though based on the last casting I wouldn't rule out Anton du Beke.

The problem in thinking of obvious candidates for a vacancy like Countdown that is likely to be relatively low pay for a reasonably high workload is that it isn't the most desirable of jobs and therefore the highest profile (and therefore most obvious) people likely to be interested are largely going to be those whose career is in decline which means that the main determinant as to the make-up of these people are decisions that were made several years if not decades ago. More specifically when it comes to Countdown it appears that the 'obvious' choices seem to be older people with some level of journalistic background (including sports or entertainment journalism) who have also presented programmes other than the news and who are currently out of regular work. While I could think of several BAME people who would be likely to be excellent hosts of Countdown such people are mostly not in need of the gig and would be unlikely to take it at the current time.
DE
DE88 UTV Newsline
Ultimately though you only need to look at the contestants in recent times to see they need to broaden their appeal - overwhelmingly white and male. They average less than one female contestant a week in recent times, and went a period of three weeks a couple of months back without a single female contestant.

Pete posted:
So I appreciate everyone has to be very Daily Mail about things on here but honestly if you'd step back and actually think for a moment.

Countdown is unusual in that it has three hosts, and while the nominal "host" is a man, in reality its the two women co-hosts that run the show, the "host" just keeps score and introduces the contestants. Rachel and Susie are the stars of the show, and of Cats does Countdown, whereas Nick is much lower profile (although very good).

Therefore taking a show from 66/33 to 100% women I'd suggest is unlikely as it's already, subtly a female dominated show. Especially given that, unlike panel shows that rely on mostly male standups, they get a reasonable spread of contestants.


(Absolutely no stereotyping, prejudice or discrimination of any kind is intended at any point in the following post.)

The actual game *has* been dominated by men over the last two decades or so - and many of them have been white, young, and put in a very great deal of practice on the computer (very often all three).

There hasn't been a female series champion since Kate Ogilvie in series 39, all the way back in 1998. And I don't believe there has been a mature series champion since John Rawnsley in series 45 in 2001 (and worth pointing out that that particular series ran for only three months rather than six, due to C4's decision to expand the show from 30 minutes to 45, and so had only four contestants in the finals rather than the usual eight). The last non-white series champion, meanwhile, was Junaid Mubeen in series 59 in 2008 (and even then, he was young and had almost certainly spent plenty of time practicing on the Apterous site or something similar).

Incidentally, the finalists for the current series were confirmed last week. All eight are men, seven are unambiguously white, six are members of the aforementioned Apterous, and only one cannot be said to be young at all.

(Once again, absolutely no stereotyping, prejudice or discrimination of any kind intended. Smile)
"What is two plus two?" "Rather more than three." "Yes, but can you be more specific?" "The Belgians."
DW
DavidWhitfield Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Every time a vacancy opens up anywhere, we end up with pages of discussion about whether they will/should employ a "minority" to fill the role.
How about just finding someone whom they feel is a good fit for the programme, irrespective of their skin colour, gender, faith, sexuality...?
As Pete rightly pointed out on the previous page, the role of 'host' is barely anything to write home about on Countdown anyway, with Rachel and Susie being far more instrumental to the actual gameplay.
Guess who's big in the back time!
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