Richard Whiteley dies

Jaffa Cake

macrumors Core
Aug 1, 2004
The City of Culture, Englandshire
I heard about his death last night – sad news. Living in Yorkshire we got to see him on our local news programmes as well as Countdown, so we've been a little spoilt over the years. ;) It was common knowledge he was ill with pneumonia and I think I'm right in saying he had undergone heart surgery recently, but the news was that he was making good progress.

Countdown producers apparently planned to have a series of guest presenters until he was well enough to continue, but I guess now they'll be looking for a permanent replacement. :(


macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2003
round the corner

Last I heard about him he wasn't very well, also I think because they are showing spare unshown shows hosted by him you forget about his condition, I guess I assumed he was doing ok

I never watched countdown a lot but the show won't be the same without him :(


macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2002
This is sad, 61 is very young to die.

I thought he was quite funny in a nerdy sort of way, and although I'm not a regular viewer of Countdown, I like it when I watch it.

I read today that it is thought he has been on British TV more than any other person with the exception of the girl on the old test card. Thats pretty amazing.

Here's a final Conundrum for Richard:
"Eastern Epic"


macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
I actually thought this thread was a joke when i first saw it. I had no idea he was ill.



macrumors G4
Incidentally, for any non-Brits who got this far in and have no idea what Countdown is...

Countdown was the first show broadcast on Channel 4 back in 1982 and the only one that's still running (aside from Channel 4 news)

Two people competed against each other in a series of word and number puzzles. They take turns to choose 9 letters, asking for either a vowel or consonant from two piles of facedown cards. Then they competed to find the longest word possible in 30 seconds. A 'celebrity' manned the dictionary and did the same.

They also had a number puzzle where they chose 6 face-down numbers (big numbers on the top row) and were given a final total which they had to use all 6 numbers to get to.

The final part was the Countdown Conundrum (as mentioned above) where the contestants were presented with an anagram and the first one to buzz with the answer won 10 points.

Strangely addictive at teatime, particularly when trying to avoid homework.


macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
.. London ..
Tomato says... I thought you didn't need to use all 6 numbers?

Richard will be sadly missed. When I found myself watching him, that was always a good indication it was time for me to stop watching TV and do something useful. (He would probably agree.)

10,000 appearances on TV... phew!




macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
Very sad news. I lost track of the all the countdown episodes I watched when I was a student :)

Cult hero, with his bad jackets and even worse jokes.



I wouldn't have said I was a huge fan of the guy, (although I did enjoy Countdown), but when I heard I felt really quite sad.

He was a national institution, I reckon.


macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
pulsewidth947 said:
Very sad news. I lost track of the all the countdown episodes I watched when I was a student :)

Cult hero, with his bad jackets and even worse jokes.

please please please let's never forget those amazing ties he had too!

another legend gone, hopefully not forgotten. seems like only the other day, john peel passed on..


macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2004
Luton. Lutonshire.
How sad, he was an amusing fella, I thought it was a wind up when I saw it in the recent comments column, apart from countdown my everlasting thought of him will be the incident with the ferret, I always laugh when I see that clip.