A Coalisland hotelier has pledged never to return to the Channel 4 hit TV show Countdown after producers refused to allow his 5-letter word ‘clift’ to stand, which would have seen him take the lead before the final conundrum, on a matter of principle.
Theodore Talbot (58), who owns two hotels in the town, maintains that this was a clear example of lingual discrimination after he had already turned a blind eye to three other words he suggested earlier which were similarly disallowed:
“I was already fuming that ‘footer’, ‘handlin’ and ‘balleeks’ were thrown out, but since I was leading I let it go. But to disallow ‘clift’, even though I gave them an example (that presenter is a quare clift), was just bad manners and another example of post-Brexit intolerance. I walked off, calling them worse things than clifts.”
Talbot is not the first East Tyrone contestant to prematurely leave the show in recent years after an Ardboe contestant was caught in 2009 using a solar powered calculator under the table during the first numbers round.
Gretta Quinn’s cheating was discovered whilst shouting ‘for frig sake put the lights on‘ after getting frustrated at the blank screen on her device.
A local clairvoyant has given in to pressure to stop pestering the souls of the departed after numerous complaints were made via another medium.
58-year old Nuala Brannigan from Dregish has been communicating with the spirit world for 35 years, but agreed yesterday to give it up after an unprecedented number of complaints.
Niall O’Neill, an 800-year old ghost originally of Cloughfin, said,
“She’s a pain in the arse. She’s always on the ouija board asking what the football results are going to be, or the Lotto numbers. As if we know. Just last week she was wanting to know where she had put her Heat magazine, and then blaming us lot for having shifted it. Gadzooks. Can she not just leave us alone? We’re fed up with being pestered. I’ve a whole lock of haunting and ghostly rattling to be getting on with and can hardly do it with that woman bending my ear all the time. And anyway, what’s a Heat magazine? And a football?”
550-year old hangman Ezra Maguire agreed.
“In the olden days people used to enquire about loved ones they had lost or maybe the whereabouts of a sentimental family heirloom. This woman’s constantly demanding ‘horse race winners’ this, or ‘Winning Streak’ that. Anyway, what century is it?”
Conor Kendall, who died in a baking accident in 1963, told us:
“I came into limbo expecting to get a bit of peace and quiet, and it’s nothing of the sort. I’ve got a ‘ghostly haunting’ exam this Friday and I haven’t even bought any chains yet”.
The challenges of being from another world were also pointed out by Kevin the Terrible, a former Viking from Urney who died in 2009.
“It’s not easy being spooky”, he agreed. “Last night I was out working walking the ramparts near the Rock for about eight hours. Jaysus, I was foundered. Well, I would have been if it wasn’t for the fact I’m already dead. It took my ectoplasm an age to thaw out. And to cap it all I had that woman Brannigan inside my bap asking where her car keys were”.
In her defence, Brannigan replied,
“Ah, come on. All I’m after is a wee bit of information most of the time. Where’s the harm in that? It’s the only option I’ve got, because the internet signal in Dregish is rubbish so I can’t get Google. And I’m hardly going to go all the way to Dungannon library to find out how to change the sump on my washing machine if I can get it from the undead”.
The ghost world confirmed that the last straw came on Monday after Brannigan spent over an hour harassing spirits about a number of different topics, including whether Tyrone’s new A5 road extension will ever get built, what setting to use for making a Baked Alaska, and the answer to Channel 4’s Countdown conundrum.
A recording-breaking episode of Countdown will be televised next month after it was revealed Paddy Hunter, from the Gortin Road in Plumbridge, beat Shirley Moore, from the Plumbridge Road in Gortin, 2-0 after 15 rounds. The low scoring game shattered previous records with reports of booing and mass walkouts during the 30-min Channel Four show. Studio producer Simon Grey reckons the episode will live long in his memory:
“It started badly when the presenter’s name was announced – Nick Hewer. The two contestants giggled at the name ‘Hewer’ for the first three rounds. For the first numbers round they were given 50, 100, 1, 3 and 2 and were told to make 156 – possibly the easiest calculation ever. Hunter came out with ‘four million’ whilst Moore announced ‘it’s a trick question – it can’t be done’. It went downhill after that.”
Hunter finally got off the mark when both contestants were given the letters d, a, n, g, e, r, o, u, s. Hunter proudly exclaimed ‘us’ whereas Moore again reckoned it was a trick question. The Plumbridge man celebrated his 2 points by roaring “you’re on your own ye boy ye, yeehaa”.
Grey reckons dialectal differences may have been to blame:
“Susie Dent, the dictionary girl, wouldn’t allow a succession of words such as ‘clift’, ‘cowp’, ‘feck’, ‘gobshite’, ‘the-marra’, ‘wheesht’ and ‘budley’. Then we had Hunter making lewd remarks to the letters girl Rachel Riley. The PSNI have reassured us that he’s not to come within 30 miles of her.”
The final Countdown Conundrum also wasn’t solved. EVILDREAD was meant to be revealed as DAREDEVIL. Hunter buzzed in after three seconds with “381” before shouting “EVILDREAD”. Moore simply shook her head, refusing to believe it could be solved at all.
The episode will be televised on November 31st. Producers are considering using Hunter’s successful practice round answer ‘arse’ to take the bad look off things.