Thursday, May 5, 2011

On November 2, 2012...

...a daytime television institution will celebrate a major anniversary. Yes, I know the show started before that, but I'm talking about the version everyone knows. While some will argue that this show hasn't been the same since the departure of its legendary host, it still is a show that shows no sign of going anywhere, and that has a cult following that takes the game almost too seriously. I am of course talking about none other than...

...Countdown! Come on, why would CBS have debuted The Price Is Right in November?

Yes, 2012 is the thirtieth anniversary of Countdown on Channel 4 (it had a few episodes on ITV earlier in the year, but that's still 1982). What will be done to commemorate this momentous occasion? I don't know, and frankly I wouldn't be surprised if it was nothing - but what would I do?

Let's start with the obvious - beginning in 1984 and most recently in 2009, Countdown has held a Champion Of Champions contest every few seasons, bringing back the best contestants from the past year or two. The thirtieth anniversary, of course, would be the perfect time for Champion Of Champions XIV; however, while I'm sure some would suggest devoting an entire season to finding the best Countdown player ever, that seems to me to be overkill.

That's not to say I don't want more than a plain old Champion Of Champions - I do. I want some good specials. In fact, what I really want for the thirtieth anniversary is simple - I want to get the old hosts involved. Yes, legendary original host Richard Whiteley is dead, but there have been two others between him and Jeff Stelling. Maybe we could have a game between Des Lynam and Des O'Connor? Of course, in my wildest dreams, Carol Vorderman would get involved too, but given how badly she was reputedly treated during her departure from the show in 2008, that's highly unlikely. Carol, if you don't know, was the show's longtime hostess\Numbers judge, and was associated with the show in much the same way that Vanna White is associated with Wheel Of Fortune in America - that is to say, she, not the actual host, is who people think of when they think of the show.

Finally, there's one more Countdown related thing I'd love to see happen. If you don't know, Australia launched its own version of this show, titled Letters And Numbers, in 2010. I think that, to tie in with the next Ashes Series (a famous cricket tournament between England and Australia) in 2013, there should be a competition between the two shows. The reason I'm putting it two years from now is not just to tie in with the Ashes Series, but also since Letters And Numbers just started, I want to give it some time to find some good players.

Hey...I can dream, can't I?


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