Re: Countdown Watching that 1991 series on Challenge I think I've come across the first appearance of tangelos in the letters game. Richard was intrigued - "I wonder if anyone has ever had one! Wonder how they taste?" Come to think of it, I haven't.
Re: Countdown Oh, look. Des Chiffres et des Lettres has tinkered with its format.
First, there is a 'classic format' round, which alternates between letters and numbers games. It begins with a Duel, the winner of which can choose whether the last game is letters or numbers. There's a lot to get through in a short amount of time, so to accomodate the changes, five seconds have been shaved off the numbers game, and the letters game selection is trimmed to the contestant calling out how many vowels they want, and the computer does the rest.
Then it's a Duel round. Five Duels, seven points a throw.
After all that, the winner then plays for cash. *sigh*
Two minutes, eight sets of letters. You are told what length the word you must find is, €100 per correct answer, so €800 for a clean sweep.
Pretty much the only things still the same are the theme tune and the presenter trio. Which reminds me, Countdown pretty much does that now, because you may have noticed that since last year, the end credits have 'promoted' Susie to full presenter status along with Nick and Rachel.
I like the new set and logo, though. Wonder how France has taken to all of this?
Re: Countdown I can't imagine Countdown will ever change, and imagine the fuss that'd be kicked up if they ever tried changing it this much. It's surprising that a simple show that's been running for so long can change its format so much and 'get away' with it.
Re: Countdown Indeed. There was a big enough fuss when the 15-game format came in 15 years ago, which took some of the gloss off of grand finals, since they were now indistinguishable from regular eps apart from giving out prizes at the end. Rejigging the order of play a few years ago - swapping one letters game out for a numbers game so both contestants now did two numbers selections each, and moving the DC guest's anecdote from before the first break to after the second numbers game was played - took a bit of getting used to, as well. They've done as much digitising as they can 'get away with', as you say, but to do any more would make Rachel - or anyone else who ever does her job - obsolete, and would spark pitchforks and flaming torches from Middle England. They'd whinge like they have done before about a 'British institution', which makes me point and laugh at them, since it's actually French. Countdown's big draw continues to be the clock and the tactile nature of the selections, whereas it doesn't matter how the answers are arrived at on DCedL, just as long as you give an answer at all, which I suspect is what allowed them to digitise the presentation and still survive. Well, apart from the fact that it's been on forever and it would feel weird if it wasn't there, obviously. Which is one thing the two have in common, come to think of it.