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Counting down Aug 10

Yesterday I auditioned for long-running popular Channel 4 afternoon game show Countdown. The audition was in Leith (Tom Baker: “Leith, founded in 1974 by chef Prue Leith, sold to the Scots in 1986 for a penny and an artichoke”), so it also involved my first trip out to the port, which, thanks to my magic bus pass, went smoothly right up until the last minute when I couldn’t get it at the stop I wanted because it was being tarmacked.

The audition was as simple as playing a few Countdown games with five other people and took around half an hour. We did six letters games, if I remember correctly, plus three numbers rounds and three Conundrums. We were advised on the numbers games that the aim was only to get within 10 of the target, so I deliberately didn’t try too hard to get the exact figure. It’s amazing how much faster the thirty seconds goes when you’re actually on the spot as opposed to sitting at home playing along with the TV when the outcome doesn’t really matter. I had variable success, spotting the longest words in the letters on some games but managing only a 5-letter word on one, doing OK on two numbers rounds but fluffing one, and getting all three Conundrums.

And that was it. Very straightforward. I was told to expect a letter in around a week (very quick for these things), but if I don’t make the show this time I’m allowed two more attempts and apparently plenty of contestants who do make it on do so after their second attempt. Fingers crossed though…

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