The most definitely toothsome Susie Dent is surely the best thing about Countdown. She has, for quite a while now, been the longest-standing figure on the programme; that accolade came with the departure of co-host Carol Vorderman in 2008. It’s hard to believe Susie made her debut in Dictionary Corner way back in 1992!
For many years, her role – ‘lexicographer’, which entails checking the validity of contestants’ declarations by scanning the dictionary for them – was done on a rotor basis by various men and women of the Oxford University Press. However, Dent became more and more prominent and was clearly the most popular with viewers, and in 2004 she took the job full-time. She’s appeared in almost every episode since then, seeing plenty of hosts come and go, and overall has adjudicated in well over 3,000 programmes. In 2007 Susie’s affinity with viewers was recognised with a new interlude in the show, in which she researches and discusses the etymology of various words and phrases.
She’s marvellous. I leave you with one of my favourite Susie moments, in which she believes Ricky Martin wrote a song about some huts: