It’s not all work, work, work here at Slouching TV Towers. We like a good game as much as the next person. So this week we’re taking a step back into a traditional world of parlour games and hobbies, and reviewing what the 140-character world of Twitter had to say about it all during the week ending 3rd March 2013.
Words and numbers
Countdown was the first programme ever aired on Channel 4 in November 1982, and to celebrate passing its 30th birthday the show has been hosting the mother of all ‘Champions of Champions’ competitions, bringing together past winners and other top contestants from the past three decades. If you’re a words and numbers geek – I plead guilty – it has been like the equivalent of watching one of those all-star sporting events. I’ve sat in awe at the standard of the contestants and the ridiculous extent of their vocabularies – I swear they must eat Scrabble dictionaries for breakfast – but, for others, there are certain other … attractions to watching the show:
— Jon ’10 Men’ Pearson (@jpscfc) February 27, 2013
Rachel Riley took over from Carol Vorderman in 2009. Judge for yourselves.
The official Countdown Twitter feed spent much of the week reporting as if they were at London Fashion Week.
— Countdown (@C4Countdown) March 1, 2013
And viewers also noted some rather eccentric knitwear worn by some of the contestants:
Those two lads in the #countdown final were wearing some right jumpers today!
— James Devine (@Jam_Devine) March 1, 2013
Countdown has a tradition of ‘interesting’ wardrobe choices. Original host Richard Whiteley had a never-ending succession of loud – we’re talking Spinal Tap turned-up-to-11 loud – blazers and ties that would have shamed a City trader, while regular Dictionary Corner guest Gyles Brandreth specialised in borderline offensive hand-knitted jumpers.
Anyhow, Friday was the final, and hotly anticipated among the show’s devoted fans it was too. Although this tweet might have been taking the hyperbole a bit too far:
— Staunton Brothers (@stauntonsmusic) March 1, 2013
Somewhat fittingly Conor Travers, the youngest ever series champion who was 14 when he won in 2006, tied the all-time record score as he defeated Jack Hurst 146-111, including three consecutive maximum nine-letter words. Genuinely, this was as good as words-and-numbers games get.
There’s no rest for the wicked, though. No sooner had the final been completed than we were straight into season 68, which kicked off yesterday.
A stitch in time
One of the sleeper hits of the past three years has been BBC2’s Great British Bake Off, which has grown massively in viewership since its debut in the summer of 2010. The season three final last October was watched by an astonishing 6.7 million people – that’s even more than the channel’s other ratings juggernaut, Top Gear.
So, after baking, what is the next homely hobby to be selected for the Great British treatment? Coming to a TV screen near you soon: sewing, in the form of The Great British Sewing Bee. I’m not kidding. The response from the Twittersphere was not entirely unexpected.
The Great British Sewing Bee <—- Apparently, this is a real thing. *shakes head* — CynInHerts (@CynInHerts) February 27, 2013
I won’t be watching the show – I don’t watch Bake Off either – but I’m not going to scoff at it either. I rather suspect this one will rack up the viewing figures too. Maybe they can cross-promote and produce something for Nick Hewer to wear while presenting Countdown?
From sadness to Madness, it’s goodbye to the House of Fun
Let’s close this week by picking up a thread from a couple of weeks ago, when I included a couple of tweets relating to the forthcoming closure of the BBC’s iconic Television Centre. We now know they’re giving it a send-off which will be more about fun and games and a celebration of the complex’s rich history than something all formal and maudlin’. I can’t think of many better acts to say goodbye to TVC than the Nutty Boys themselves, Madness. Give ’em hell, Suggs, and make sure you do House of Fun.
— Radio Times (@RadioTimes) February 27, 2013
To celebrate their BBC gig, I’m going to dust off my copy of Madness’ album One Step Beyond. See you next week.
To read previous Tweets of the Week columns, click here.