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Jacob's Countdown cracker!


 What could be better than asking TV's very own brainy beauty Rachel Riley for two from the top and one from the bottom. 


Well one Tabler - Steve Jacob of Petersfield - had that pleasure when he appeared on the pensioners' favourite quiz show Countdown. 


Jacob is no stranger to the small screen having got the TV bug  becoming a favourite of the production companies as he reveals he own TV times! 


"Back in 2014 I answered a last minute call for applicants to go on “Breaking Magic”. I wasn't alone as I went along with fellow Tabler James Marshall for the recording. 


"I didn’t tell a soul about this until I sat with my family watching on TV and the look of shock on their faces of seeing their husband/dad appear on TV was priceless. My evil plan was hatched!!   


"I then applied to go on “Two Tribes”, a BBC2 show, and also recorded that in complete secrecy. The only problem was it aired eight months later whilst I was on holiday and so social media ruined the surprise for the family this time. "It then came out I had applied for Countdown and after an over-the-phone test to see if I was any good, I was invited to film in December. 


"The time finally came and I travelled to Manchester to film the show… and meet Rachel Riley! 

"I arrived with the other six contestants for the day (as five episodes are filmed a day) and we were shepherded into the green room to awkwardly make small talk with each other. The first two contestants were taken to prepare and the rest of us sat in the audience to watch the recording. 

"After an hour of set up, recording and retakes, we were shepherded back into the green room while they reset the studio.  This happened again and again as it turned out I was the last recording of the day… by which time my brain was fried and I am sticking to that as my reason for doing awfully! 

"It was finally my turn and so I was sent to the makeup department and Rachel Riley came into the room. I was shown to the next seat and I couldn’t help myself but ask for a photo as I was a big fan! 

"As I sat down she asked me if I liked the normal version or the rude version… what the hell was she offering me?! Was I going to be able to ask for a rude photo of Rachel Riley? Luckily, it dawned on me she meant the‘8 out of 10 cats’ version with Jimmy Carr. 


"It was then show time! I sat at the desk and wasn’t introduced to anybody! Suzie Dent mouthed ‘good luck’ to me as the show started. The music began and we were away. As the series is so old so is the set! The big clock constantly sticks throughout the rounds and you have to retake the shot and pretend you are thinking of words as per the original round so they can film the clock again! 


"The highlight of my day was asking for my letters and numbers in such a way that it would go unnoticed when it was my numbers round and I could say to Rachel Riley, ‘I would love to see two big ones…’ 


"As for what’s next on my TV take-over?  I’m not 100 per cent sure, but say what you say see.  


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