“AND AS THE COUNTDOWN to a brand new channel ends, so a new Countdown begins…” Little needs to be said about this behemoth of the last 25 years – and there’s not much to add about the show either (ho ho). Grew out of Yorkshire TV-only Calendar Countdown slot. RICHARD WHITELEY did the lot until death in 2005, wherepon DES LYNAM took over until he couldn’t be arsed driving up to Leeds and handed the mantle (along with his first name) over to DES O’CONNOR, who then pissed off to be replaced by JEFF STELLING. CAROL VORDERMAN was also there from the off until she flounced out in protest at a pay cut. Used to call the number generator Cecil, which stood for Countdown Electronic Computer In Leeds. 10 greatest ever Dictionary Corner denizens: STILGOE, BRANDRETH, WILLIAMS (KENNETH), O’CONNOR (TOM), SOPRENDO (THE GREAT), DIGANCE, FRY, SHERRIN, JARVIS (MARTIN), WAKEMAN.