Advantages: Good for keeping your mind in check
Disadvantages: A bit dull and staid in places
Much loved (or hated) long running Channel 4 program, originally hosted by the kindly Richard Whitely and the marmitey Carol Vorderman. I am sure there was another female presenter at first, but her name escapes me. Des Lynam and Des O Connor have also had the Anchor. Currently it is presented by the solid Jeff Stelling and the 'sweet' Rachel Riley
Two contestants battle it out to go through to another game with a different contestant.
Up to nine random letters are chosen and the contestant to come up with the longest word gets the high scores.
There is also a numbers round where a series of numbers are blindly chosen. A random number is then generated by a computer and the contestants must make that number used the chosen numbers and the basic arithmetical oprators.
Finally, after a number of these rounds, there is the 'Countdown Conundrum', essentially an anagram, which needs solving.
It is aired late afternoon. This is easy viewing, it is typically enjoyed by the older generation, it also has a cult student following.
You will definitely enjoy this if you like solving word and number puzzles. The banter can be a bit staid at times, at others extremely funny, though this is few and far between. Sometimes when the letters are being chosen, they will spell out a rude word, which causes a few giggles, though they do edit out anything very offensive and start the round again.
From time to time the contestants themselves will put forward a rude word as their answer - there was the case where the contestants Gino and Lawrence got the same rude word.
The letters to choose from were
S R K D U A E W N
So Lawrence said his word, which created some mirth.
When gino was asked for his contribution, he said:-
"looks like we've got a pair of wankers", or something to that effect!
Right I will be honest here - I never saw this and don't know if it was aired, but it definitely was shown on an out-takes program (check out youtube, you will see it there).
I would recommend Countdown for those days when you have a quiet half-hour or so to yourself.
Summary: Well made and long running letters and numbers quizzes