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Saturday 21 July 2018

Don't clap and don't say 'condiment' for 'consonant' - strict rules for Countdown contestants revealed

Countdown host Nick Hewer (centre) with the show's Rachel Riley (right) and Susie Dent (left) (Channel 4)
Countdown host Nick Hewer (centre) with the show's Rachel Riley (right) and Susie Dent (left) (Channel 4)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Channel 4's Countdown is a bit of an institution and, like any institution, it has a particular set of rules.

A former contestant has taken to Twitter to share a confidential set of rules for people appearing on the show, and some of them are quite specific.

Annie says the rules are "100% genuine" and they kick off with the instruction, "Don't say 'can I get'.  When requesting letters or numbers from Rachel [Riley], please avoid using the expression 'can I get', as this generates a large volume of complaints from viewers."

What soon becomes very clear is that a lot of the rules are to avoid irking viewers, who appear to complain about Countdown a LOT.

Contestants are also warned to avoid saying 'please' too often or not at all.

“Once for the first letter and once for the last letter is probably best as we get complaints for no ‘pleases’ and complaints for too many" state the rules.

People are also instructed to 'pretend' to clap rather than actually clap.  They're also not allowed to rest their chin in their hands or say hello to relatives on air. 

It's a wonder any of them can concentrate on the game with all these instructions to remember!

While some people assumed Annie was taking a pop at Countdown over sharing the rules, she says it's the opposite:

"By the way, I’m in no way dissing Countdown - I love the programme, and I love these rules. There are obviously a LOT of pedantic people watching" she wrote on Twitter.

Here's her thread in full:

Nick Hewer shocked as rude word crops up on Countdown


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