Belfast Telegraph

Thrilling climax to Countdown poser

Viewers of Channel 4 word game Countdown were left gasping when it hit a peak with a near-the-knuckle answer.

Letters chosen during one round of the long-running show were capable of spelling the word "orgasmed", with the eight-letter contribution then displayed by the programme's Rachel Riley who posed next to it.

Contestants had to find the longest word possible from the selection of nine letters which had been chosen - E, A, S, R, P, G, O, M and D.

The best efforts by the players were the six-letter "grapes" and seven-letter "grasped" in the edition of the afternoon show.

But the team in dictionary corner - lexicographer Susie Dent and impressionist Alistair McGowan - were able to come up with something better.

McGowan suggested: "There's a seven (letter word) in 'dampers', another one, and Susie 'orgasmed'."

Show host Nick Hewer responded: "Oh, well done. Very good."

Riley - recently a contestant on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing - then arranged the letters on the board to spell it out. "Orgasmed" has had multiple appearances, occurring in the final as the series climaxed three years ago when Jeff Stelling was the presenter.

A racier version of the programme - 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown - has recently been screened on Friday evenings with more adult themes.

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