27 June 2005

Richard Whiteley

MediaGuardian.co.uk Media Whiteley, the cosy quizmaster, dies at 61

Such a shame, Richard Whitely was a very good quizmaster and TV presenter. I don't really remember him on Calender as I preferred Look North on BBC1.

The report, though, has a tone of intellectual snobbery as if being a quiz master was in someway below the dignity of a Cambridge man? Why for heavens sake?

Don't broad middle market entertainments deserve having the best brains available working on them as much as high brow, niche programming? Richard Whiteley greatly entertained many people without talking down to them or taking the route of the lowest common dominator. His jokes were awful but he created an easy bond between the contestants, the guests, Carol Vorderman of course and the audience at home. I often watched Countdown if I was about when it was on. I enjoyed it as much as the next person and I'm useless as word games.


  1. i used to watch 'countdown' only occasionally but i felt strangely sad to hear about richard w's death - haven't yet read media guardian link but not wholly unsurprised at your noting a somewhat snobbish tone

    plain pathetic if you ask me - probably just jealous that their high brow/intellectual guardian column/channel4 documentary only drew 5 readers/viewers

  2. It wasn't just the Guardian either, the BBC online review had a touch of "but he was a Cambridge man"

  3. nice tributes (galore) on beeb site though

    like i said, can only conclude it was sour grapes from reporters

  4. I hate to tell you this. but all humor from the UK is a bit on the dry side.

    Except for the Pythons. Those guys were great.

  5. Richard Whiteley was simply unique...I was stunned to hear of his death. Countdown will not be the same...His shoes will be very hard to fill...if indeed they should be filled.

  6. Noooooo!! I only just heard about this from you. That's so sad :o( I used to enjoy his lame jokes and bad hair, it made my afternoons so much more fun :o(