Last night was a heady buzz of nostalgia, as Challenge began showing episodes of Countdown from 1991. Though I was in my mother’s tummy when they went out originally, I was apparently watching by 1993 – sod kids TV! – so it was still a treat. It was good to see Richard Whiteley back on screen and in the chair again (though the jackets thus far have been disappointingly tame!); it was very noticeable how pleasant and easy it was to watch in comparison to the slog of Nick Hewer’s pitiful attempts at hosting it today. What’s more, with Challenge showing the programmes in a double bill, he has, more than ten years after his death, quite happily regained his moniker of ‘Twice Nightly Whiteley’. (For many years, Richard used to host Countdown at 4:30 and then appear on Yorkshire TV’s news show Calendar two hours later.)
Fittingly, I was working against the clock rather with this drawing – it’s a little swifter than normal, and I was concerned about the impetus of nostalgia hampering things, as it often can, but I think it went quite well. With much energy to expend, I also had a go at cutting a font inspired by the Countdown logotype used in the title sequence of these old shows, appreciating such things in ways I’m sure I did not as an infant. The visuals have inevitably not aged well, but as lettering, it’s a pretty funky display face… one I couldn’t pin down, so I made it!
I should really do Carol Vorderman next, I suppose. Soon.