Once every seven years or so, the stars and planets align in a certain way, and a rude word is generated during the random-letter-picking rounds on Countdown. "A consonant please. Rachel. And a vowel. Consonant. And another consonant." "Oh dear, you've spelled out 'tits'."
Last night's edition of the long-running show featured perhaps its most magnificent example of accidental potty-mouthing yet, as the lovely Rachel Riley dropped five fateful letters into place to spell out the word "minge".
Elderly contestant Elaine Rhodes chose to bravely grasp the nettle and offer up "minge" as her five-letter word for that round; sadly, she was bested by opponent Susie Purcell, who went with the seven-letter word "mingers". (Amazingly, both "minge" and "mingers" are in the Oxford Dictionary, and therefore acceptable Countdown currency.)
Countdown's rudest-ever moment, however, occured in 2010, when 18-year-old contestant Jack Hurst rearranged the randomised letters to come up with the eight-letter masterpiece "shitface". Jack's word was judged acceptable by Countdown's resident language expert Susie Dent – as a description of a "rude or obnoxious person" – but the show's producers chickened-out and insisted that the round be re-shot from scratch.