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Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:04 pm
by Phil H
A rather strangely dismissive article by mid-90s champion Peter Cashmore, who confirms his identity in page 3 of the below-the-line comments.

He's entitled to his opinion, of course, but his criticisms of Rachel in particular defy logic. I can accept that someone might have a personal preference for Carol, but find it harder to believe that they would seriously consider Rachel one of the show's main weaknesses.

Judging by the comments, he seems to have largely failed to catch his audience's mood, and I can't imagine there'll be much support for him on here.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radi ... -countdown

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:34 pm
by Graeme Cole
Pete Cashmore puts the view that the long-running game show Countdown has become "a hunched, wan shadow of its glorious former self". Dull, past its prime, and out of new ideas, Pete Cashmore is a former series champion.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:56 pm
by Anthony Endsor
I couldn't disagree more with the article as a whole.
Countdown has always been a great show, and if anything I think it is on the ascendancy.
Some things have had to change of course.
When Richard Whiteley died, the producers had a choice. They could have let the show just die with him and bring to an end a programme that has been an institution to Channel 4 since it opened the Channel back in 1982. Or they could have chosen to carry on with a new presenter, make any necessary changes, and perhaps in future series' wouldn't it be nice to have a new winner's trophy in Richard's memory.
So what do you think Richard would have wanted? I'd definitely say the latter.
As for the rest of the article, I think Rachel has done an excellent job in replacing Carol. DC Guests have come and gone over the years. We have always had a diverse selection of guests and it's impossible to please everyone. Over the years there have always been certain guests I haven't taken to, and others who I have really enjoyed. That's part and parcel of the course and always will be.
I don't know what has brought this on, but I do think this is a very misguided article.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:59 pm
by Rhys Benjamin
Nick comes across very well in the studio and does engage very well with the contestants in the studio, but I'll admit that this is sometimes misconstrued as favouritism on TV. It didn't help when I was there that the recording went on until 11pm due to a number of reasons, and by that stage everyone involved with the production was making very silly errors. For example, the cameras were turned off for one round by mistake meaning we had to reshoot. Nick even referred to me by my surname in episode 5 by mistake, and this somehow got past the edit.

That said, whilst you can't deny that Cashmore's right to an extent judging by the viewing figures, he doesn't offer solutions, only problems. What exactly can Countdown do? They can't resurrect Richard Whiteley from beyond the grave, and nor can they recall Carol Vorderman. I think that the popularity of Catsdown with the public at large perhaps shows that there is a market for normal Countdown. But there's nothing that can really be done about it in the medium term.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:07 pm
by Gavin Chipper
I think most people on here have generally agreed in the past that Nick isn't exactly a brilliant host. As for the celebrities, they probably have always been a mixed bag, but it is true, even if it was also true in the past, that most of them are very fast-forwardable. And sometimes it's just Nick Hewer's mates - e.g. Margaret Mountford and Michael Whitehall, or Rachel's partner Pasha, who is proper Z- list. And that's not a hyphen. It's a minus sign.

I previously posted that I found Rachel to be dull, but I actually think she's generally OK on Countdown. What I find dull is how she presents her life - all shopping and Man Utd. And I do prefer her to Carol.

But anyway, I do disagree that Countdown has jumped the shark because there have always been rubbish guests and I think that Rachel is better than Carol. But Nick is a weak link there.

Edit - But Rachel does play favourites, and it's sometimes quite obvious that she wants the woman to win.

Edit 2 - And he didn't even mention Susie's awful Origin of Words bit.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:23 pm
by Jennifer Steadman
I believe he tried to reapply for the show. Despite having already won a series. Maybe he got rejected and that's what brought this on?

It's so genuinely weird to read stuff about Countdown that's written by people who grew up with Vorderman. In the few episodes I've seen with her in, she is *absolutely unbearable*, yet there's a whole generation that sees her as a presenting icon. Crazy. (Also, how can you write a whole article about Countdown and only mention Susie once in passing?? #icon)

However, if Pete is correct and the Countdown audience does indeed want a numbers lady who's annoyingly narcissistic and worse than Rachel at numbers, I'm open to job offers x

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:57 am
by Mark Deeks
"I don't like a thing. People must know! I shall write about this." Just seems odd.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:21 am
by Mark Deeks
He's coming across like quite the whiny grandstander in the comments. It's odd to want to troll for a living.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:21 am
by David Williams
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=12275&p=174290&hil ... re#p174290
Is this him? Anyone speak to him?
He was definitely a contributor to this forum or one of its predecessors a while back. And I may be mis-remembering, but I think he incurred Damian's displeasure by trying to be amusing while being thumped in a re-match special with Dag Griffiths

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:31 am
by Gavin Chipper
David Williams wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:21 am
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=12275&p=174290&hil ... re#p174290
Is this him? Anyone speak to him?
He was definitely a contributor to this forum or one of its predecessors a while back. And I may be mis-remembering, but I think he incurred Damian's displeasure by trying to be amusing while being thumped in a re-match special with Dag Griffiths
Yeah, he was in Birmingham. I spoke to him. Seemed fine. Quite humble if anything.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:35 am
by David Williams
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:23 pm
It's so genuinely weird to read stuff about Countdown that's written by people who grew up with Vorderman. In the few episodes I've seen with her in, she is *absolutely unbearable*, yet there's a whole generation that sees her as a presenting icon. Crazy.
Objectively Countdown is much better than it was then. But so is pretty much everything else. In thirty years time anything from today will be hopelessly outmoded. You really can't judge yesterday by today's standards. I can only say that it took me longer to get through a 30 minute episode than it takes me to watch an episode now. I used to watch the whole thing and enjoy it all (maybe not all the celebrities). Now I find the chit-chat pretty excruciating. Then again, fast-forwarding is much better than it was then.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:04 pm
by Gavin Chipper
David Williams wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:35 am
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:23 pm
It's so genuinely weird to read stuff about Countdown that's written by people who grew up with Vorderman. In the few episodes I've seen with her in, she is *absolutely unbearable*, yet there's a whole generation that sees her as a presenting icon. Crazy.
Objectively Countdown is much better than it was then. But so is pretty much everything else. In thirty years time anything from today will be hopelessly outmoded. You really can't judge yesterday by today's standards. I can only say that it took me longer to get through a 30 minute episode than it takes me to watch an episode now. I used to watch the whole thing and enjoy it all (maybe not all the celebrities). Now I find the chit-chat pretty excruciating. Then again, fast-forwarding is much better than it was then.
In terms of show production, then yes, things should always improve. But Carol v Rachel is more about personalities and I don't think there is much evidence that human personalities continuously improve over time.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:01 pm
by Martin Long
I was in seethe mode when I first saw this article. Maybe it was something to do with the dismissive tone of the article, the completely over the top criticism of Rachel Riley (far better than Carol Vorderman in terms of both Maths ability and personality) or the signalling out of Martin Lewis (his segments are always very insightful) as a poor DC guest. Peter Cashmore is completely wrong on the latter two points.

As for Nick, I view him as a decent host. Jeff Stelling and Richard Whiteley are both better but the two Des' s are worse.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:19 am
by Rhys Benjamin
Martin Long wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:01 pm
I was in seethe mode when I first saw this article. Maybe it was something to do with the dismissive tone of the article, the completely over the top criticism of Rachel Riley (far better than Carol Vorderman in terms of both Maths ability and personality) or the signalling out of Martin Lewis (his segments are always very insightful) as a poor DC guest. Peter Cashmore is completely wrong on the latter two points.

As for Nick, I view him as a decent host. Jeff Stelling and Richard Whiteley are both better but the two Des' s are worse.
I do have to admit I agree with Cashmore on Martin Lewis. He's an energy tampon and I find him both dull and annoying. I don't agree on Rachel, however, I think she's proven to be equally as capable as Carol Vorderman. Let's not forget Carol did 28 years. Rachel's only done 9 years. Give it another 20 years and I think we'll eventually look on Rachel and Carol as equals.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:27 am
by Martin Long
Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:19 am
Martin Long wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:01 pm
I was in seethe mode when I first saw this article. Maybe it was something to do with the dismissive tone of the article, the completely over the top criticism of Rachel Riley (far better than Carol Vorderman in terms of both Maths ability and personality) or the signalling out of Martin Lewis (his segments are always very insightful) as a poor DC guest. Peter Cashmore is completely wrong on the latter two points.

As for Nick, I view him as a decent host. Jeff Stelling and Richard Whiteley are both better but the two Des' s are worse.
I do have to admit I agree with Cashmore on Martin Lewis. He's an energy tampon and I find him both dull and annoying. I don't agree on Rachel, however, I think she's proven to be equally as capable as Carol Vorderman. Let's not forget Carol did 28 years. Rachel's only done 9 years. Give it another 20 years and I think we'll eventually look on Rachel and Carol as equals.
Did someone create a thread a bit ago proving Rachel was better than Carol at the numbers game? Or I am misremembering things? Carol did do 28 years but I make that about 10 years too many.

Speaking to a few other people, they agree with you on Martin Lewis. I guess I appreciate him more as I'm from an accountancy background. :)

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:24 pm
by Peter Mabey
Furthermore, Rachel sometimes beats Susie (not to mention the audience) on the words !

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:10 am
by David Williams
One thing that Pete Cashmore overlooks is that viewing figures had declined massively even before Richard Whiteley died. At its peak (early 90's?) Countdown got over four million viewers and was the second most popular C4 programme after Brookside. By around 2002 it was well under two million and didn't make the C4 top 30. See for yourself.
http://www.barb.co.uk/viewing-data/weekly-top-30/

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 pm
by Mark Deeks
Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:19 am
Let's not forget Carol did 28 years.
So last night in a quiz, we had the question "what year did Carol Vorderman quit Countdown?". I remembered you posting about 28 years and figured it therefore had to be 2010. We thus got this question wrong and lost on a tiebreak. You owe me £51.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:56 pm
by Phil H
Mark Deeks wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:19 am
Let's not forget Carol did 28 years.
So last night in a quiz, we had the question "what year did Carol Vorderman quit Countdown?". I remembered you posting about 28 years and figured it therefore had to be 2010. We thus got this question wrong and lost on a tiebreak. You owe me £51.
I seem to remember talking about "the new Countdown girl" to a guy at the pub during Tony Mowbray's first Old Firm game as Celtic manager. Therefore I submit 2009. Rhys must have been counting inclusively?

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:10 pm
by Gavin Chipper
Phil H wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:56 pm
Mark Deeks wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:19 am
Let's not forget Carol did 28 years.
So last night in a quiz, we had the question "what year did Carol Vorderman quit Countdown?". I remembered you posting about 28 years and figured it therefore had to be 2010. We thus got this question wrong and lost on a tiebreak. You owe me £51.
I seem to remember talking about "the new Countdown girl" to a guy at the pub during Tony Mowbray's first Old Firm game as Celtic manager. Therefore I submit 2009. Rhys must have been counting inclusively?
I think Rachel started at the beginning of 2009, so Carol's last game was 2008.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:45 pm
by Rhys Benjamin
No comment.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:43 pm
by JimBentley
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:23 pm
It's so genuinely weird to read stuff about Countdown that's written by people who grew up with Vorderman. In the few episodes I've seen with her in, she is *absolutely unbearable*, yet there's a whole generation that sees her as a presenting icon. Crazy.
I am somebody who grew up with Carol and part of the charm was that she started out quite mousy and demure, but gradually became more and more confident as the show went on. And that was because she obviously had a good chemistry with Richard Whiteley and he increasingly involved her as a foil to bounce off. Personally I didn't see that as a bad thing, I enjoyed it, but hey, each to their own. I think her persona only really moved into the now-familiar strident harridan territory towards the end, but even then I didn't really mind as she'd built up a lot of goodwill over the years. And she said I had a sexy voice, so she gets a free pass just for that.

Mark Deeks wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:57 am
"I don't like a thing. People must know! I shall write about this." Just seems odd.
You don't read the Guardian much then? This is their editorial policy these days. With the odd exception, it's clickbait shit now, at least in the online edition. I appreciate why they're doing it, they're not paywalled and need to bring in the money somehow, but it does get a bit tiresome sometimes. The quantity of articles that get completely demolished in the comments for their blatant bias and stupidity is quite striking, but I'm sure it's all part of the plan.

Re: Former series champion slates the show in today's Guardian

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:05 pm
by JimBentley
Also, while we're talking about Carol, have I posted this before? If I haven't, that's pretty remiss of me.

Image

I don't think this was one of her commercial opportunities, I think they just used her picture without consent, which makes it funnier. Oh, and don't translate the text if you're you're easily offended, by the way.