Swearing Countdown Whizzkid Agrees With Censorship
Cambridge fresher Jack Hurst has told The Tab that Channel 4 “made the right decision” by editing out a swear word he suggested on the show.
Countdown whizzkid and Cambridge fresher Jack Hurst has told The Tab that Channel 4 “made the right decision” by editing out a swear word he suggested on the show.
Maths genius Hurst, who won eight consecutive shows and accumulated the highest score in Countdown history (946 points), came up with the word “shitface” when presented with the letters: F I D E T C A S H.
Countdown’s lexicographer, Susie Dent, confirmed that ‘shitface’ is indeed a word, whose dictionary definition is “an obnoxious or robust person”. However, the extra ‘D’ could not be utilized to spell ‘shit-faced’, as hyphenated words are not allowed on Countdown.
Despite this, the word was deemed “unsuitable” for Countdown’s conservative audience. A ‘C’ was swapped for an ‘R’ and the segment refilmed, giving Hurst “hardiest” to declare instead.#
Pembroke first-year Hurst exclusively told The Tab, “I thought they made the right decision to reshoot the round, as the word shitface could have more offensive connotations, so it would have caused a lot of trouble if it were broadcast.
“I didn’t feel bad about offering shitface-the meaning of your word doesn’t matter, your just trying to find the longest word possible every time.”
This is not the first time that an expletive has featured on Countdown, after the Dictionary Corner came up with “gobshite” in 2001. This too was deemed unsuitable, and was cut before the episode was broadcast.
In 2003, both contestants failed to come up with the rather obvious six-letter word amongst the letters “AUODFCKEG”, saving Channel 4 the need to refilm.
Hurst, the son of a construction worker and sales assistant from Desford, near Leicester, is tipped to win the series overall. The final rounds were filmed last week and will be aired in the run up to Christmas.