Rude Words on Countdown

My two brothers and I have all appeared on Countdown, the Channel 4 tea time quiz show, and all of us have had naughty words of one kind or another appearing in our games.

Bruno extracted the eight-letter word ORGASMED from the letters ADIRGOMES; Carol Vorderman, usually a model of restraint, responded to this with ‘Yes! YES! It is allowed.’ This performance made it into several of the tabloids, with a picture of Carol pulling her orgasm face and the words spelt out behind her:


With the Radio 1 breakfast show also mentioning it, Bruno’s notoriety was secured. ‘Orgasmed’ is arguably the rudest word ever to be broadcast on Countdown; ‘dick’ and ‘poof’ have also appeared in the past, though, while an episode in which both contestants and Dictionary Corner got ‘wankers’ never made it onto tea-time television.

The stage was set for a run of unusually rude words; the next day the letters for the Conundrum were PERTBUTUC – I don’t know how they got away with that – and Bruno got hoarier (not technically rude, but it certainly sounds it). The day after that (in the game between my two brothers) one of the letters games included the letters FART, in that order, but with another letter before it.

Later, when I appeared myself, the word FART turned up right at the start of one of my letters games – apparently, my family has some kind of a gift for this?

‘Nineteen years we’ve been waiting for that,’ says Richard Whiteley, and I believe him.
‘That is staying in,’ says Carol.

On the strength of the word fart I made it into Channel 4’s Top TV Moments of 2001. I expect the clip – and probably Bruno’s, too – will keep turning up from time to time for the rest of our lives…  indeed, my clip has appeared repeatedly by now, although I have so far missed every programme it’s been on. Curiously, as far as I can tell none of Bruno’s have been repeated at all – maybe ‘ORGASMED‘ is just a bit too high-brow for the clip compilers?

Impressively, 8-year-old Tanmay Dixit – apparently the youngest competitor in Countdown’s history – later managed to win a game in which he got the words ‘FARTED’ and ‘FANNIES’ – not quite rude enough not to be shown at tea-time, Channel 4 decided.


Zoe Williams in the Guardian writes about rude words on Countdown here.

Machester Online covers Tanmay Dixit’s appearance here.

Search for the ‘FART’ clip on YouTube.

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