This out, 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown returns with innkeeper Jimmy Carr and contestants Sean Lock and Miles Jupp hold on Jon Richardson and Rose Matafeo. Vic Reeves will join Susie Dent in Wordbook Corner, with Rachel Riley. Susie is the longest-serving member on the of the initial Countdown panel.
Susie, 54 is an English lexicographer and etymologist and has written disparate books and reports on the English language.
She loves her job on Countdown and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (or “Catsdown” as she has dubbed it).
She said: “It’s my gig and I genuinely woman it. My life would be a lot sadder without it.
“And it means I can indulge my love of the wordbook.
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“It’s quite a rare skill to have, to be masterful to look words up quickly – and also a really un-useful one, except on Countdown.”
Susie has loved orders and discovering language from a young age, describing her childhood: “I really was the nerd in the car that be familiar with vocabulary books.
“If we were going on day trips, I would quite analogous to to have just stayed in the car with my German and French vocab publications. It’s embarrassing to admit to it now.”
In writing one of her books, Susie confessed to an odd habit to lay eyes on turns of phrase or odd words.
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She said she would snoop as: “The best time to catch tribal jargon is when it’s not looking.
“I don’t intentionally overhear. I’m not looking for salacious gossip, I’m just looking for vocabulary items.”
Her direct school teacher husband, Paul Atkins and their two daughters Lucy, 17, and Thea, nine drive mad her for this odd habit.
When Susie is distracted and eavesdropping, they hold a word to snap her out of it – “potatoes”.
This refers to a moment when she appeared on Check up on the Nation and fell into a daze during the commercial break.
She was bounced out of her reverie by an annoyed Anne Robinson.
Susie confessed of the moment: “She’d interrogated me about plurals and I’d missed the question completely. I just said ‘potatoes?’
“Anyway, that’s my parentage’s way of saying ‘get back into our world because you’re off on one again.’ I do that utterly a lot.”
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.