Channel 4 apologises after Countdown broadcasts contestant’s seven-letter gay slur on air

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Pointless co-host Richard Osman saying he was shocked the word wasn’t removed from Monday’s broadcast

Channel 4 has issued an apology after airing a gay slur on an episode of Countdown earlier this week.

In an episode that aired on Monday (16 August), a contestant gave a seven letter word as his answer during one of the letter rounds. The slur featured in the quiz programme uncensored.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There was immediate backlash to the decision to air the word uncensored online, with Pointless co-host Richard Osman saying he was shocked the word wasn’t removed from Monday’s broadcast.

‘The contestant was embarrassed to be saying it, but in that situation the easy solution is to all agree he scored seven points and to retake with a different answer,” Osman said.

“We’ve done that a couple of times with “correct” answers. A very easy fix, and not an uncommon one.”

TV Critic Scott Bryan said: “As someone who was called a “p*****r” by homophobes on a daily basis why on earth is Countdown allowing it to be said cheerfully as an answer on daytime television?Yes, I know it is in the dictionary.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But having been at the receiving end of that word as abuse for years (along with f*****), then hearing it casually as an answer on a quizshow.”

He added: “The amount of people saying ‘it is only a word,’ I’m pretty sure it was only a word back in the classrooms back then too. Yet it feels the same.”

“Error of judgement”

In a statement, Channel 4 said the airing of the word was an “error of judgement”.

‘It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused,’ a spokesperson said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Contestant Matt Gould also apologised saying: “I apologise for my part in this. I thought it might be edited differently.

"At the time I said ‘I have an inappropriate 7 that I know is in the dictionary or a riskier 7 that I’m less sure about’.

"I thought that bit would be reshot with a non offensive 7 letter word.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.