That title is meant to be the Countdown clock reaching zero, which it unfortunately did for presenter Richard Whitely earlier today. I’m not entirely sure what to say about this except that I’m surprisingly put out. Whitely’s humour was built out of bad puns; his presenting style was like your dad trying to be funny when he meets your friends for the first time; he laughed at his own jokes even when no-one else did. And yet for some reason we all liked him.

I used to watch Countdown every day before Start Trek. I was continually annoyed that I could only get a six when others got a seven, and occasionally chuffed at getting the numbers when Carol couldn’t. I remember the first time I got the conundrum. The word was ‘gladiator’. I guess I could make some poetic comparison of Richard Whitely and the gladiators of Rome, riding a chariot of literacy and fighting off the lions of mid-afternoon boredom. But really he was just a nice guy doing a job he enjoyed. Which I guess is enough.