The Vord at the Board

vorderman-2

I said I’d draw Carol Vorderman, and I’m a man of my word. Loving the hair, Carol. (So much fun to draw) This is off the back of my portrait of Richard, and also my enjoying the 1991 repeats of Countdown far too much.

For those unaware, Carol was the ‘vital statistician’: there to check contestants’ calculations and indeed solve the problems caused by the numbers game when neither contestant could. For many years, she was billed as just another of the many hostesses the show had at the time, and indeed was only wheeled out to do her bit with the sums. However, as the star of Countdown ascended, so did hers, and in later years she was essentially a co-host, with her chemistry and rapport with Whiteley becoming the stuff of daytime television legend. By the mid-90s, Carol had become a presenter in her own right, at one point appearing to be absolutely everywhere, though she always remained loyal to little old Countdown.

She was on the show from its inception in 1982 until 2008. Her departure that Christmas, coming amid rampant cost-cutting, caused a furore most uncharacteristic of the programme; a ninety per cent pay cut indeed seemed incredibly cold after so many years of dedicated service – many predicted it would spell the end, but thankfully the show has continued, with pretty young thing and equally marvellous Rachel Riley picking up the marker pen.

It’s a tremendous relief this drawing happened, actually! All week I’ve been trying to draw someone, something, anything – for, if I do not, I go crazy – and it just has not been working out at all; there have been some terribly unpleasant results and I’d become rather crestfallen by it actually… but this one happily turned out relatively well, especially given the quality of the reference photo was really quite low. Perhaps this three-day curse has been broken!

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18 comments
  1. Geke Hop-Wassink said:

    I dont know the women, but I think your drawing is beautiful, great artwork 🙂

    Like

    • Jacob said:

      Ah, well thank you Geke. Very encouraging after a few days of rot! Google her to see what she looks like nowadays… quite the transformation!

      Like

      • Geke Hop-Wassink said:

        I have very litlle time at the moment, wish a day had 48 hours, but when I have a moment I Google her

        Like

  2. laylalalas said:

    Hahaha wow she’s had some shockers hasn’t she!

    Like

    • Jacob said:

      Ha! I could link you to some pictures, but there are simply too many.

      She did used to cut her own hair, I believe. That might explain it.

      Like

  3. Sharon Mann said:

    I would say your curse is gone Jacob. Beautifully rendered, I love the hair.

    Like

    • Jacob said:

      Such a relief – thanks so much, Sharon! I get a little scared doing long hair, as I find it can so easily go wrong, but this was a whole lot of fun. (And what an awesome barnet it is!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lee Hesketh said:

    Something about this makes me think Carol is shy, when I know from seeing her on TV that she is not. I nearly met her once, she was doing a book signing in town when I was at uni. Didn’t go 😛 Oh yeah, great work again!

    Like

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Lee. Vorderman used to appear a lot more restrained (and bearable) than today. I guess her confidence grew as her profile increased… she did get a bit too big for her boots on Countdown, I have to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Catherine Johnson said:

    It’s a great likeness! Beautiful painting. Didn’t she leave Countdown because she asked for too much money and they wouldn’t give her it? Susie Dent would be a great one to paint too.

    Like

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Catherine!

      Carol did deny asking for more money. She says that she offered to have her wages cut by a third in line with everyone else, but they refused, saying it had to be ninety per cent… probably still a sizable amount of money for what she was doing, but if true I think she just took the hint.

      Ah, well I adore Susie Dent, so should definitely see to drawing her!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Catherine Johnson said:

        That’s interesting. I forgot the others had a pay cut.

        Like

      • Jacob said:

        It was a bit weird just how hard they hit Countdown. It was reported also that Des O’Connor wanted a new contract but wasn’t ever offered one. That’s showbiz for you! I guess they were just desperate to refresh it with new (cheaper) presenters.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Graham said:

    Hello,

    I’d love to feature this and / or the other lovely drawing of Carol for a sketch I’m filming, would you be happy to release it?

    Thanks in advance

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Hi Graham – yes, feel free to use this drawing of Carol. I hope the sketch goes well – I’ll look out for it!

      Like

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