U.K. Quiz Show ‘Countdown' Sets World Record With 70th Season

The Channel 4 game show and British TV icon began life in 1982

An icon of U.K. TV culture, Channel 4’s long-running mathematics and anagrams-based quiz show Countdown, has set the Guinness World Record for “most series broadcast for a game show”.

Countdown, which launched in 1982 and has become a staple of the U.K.’s daytime TV viewing schedule, aired its 6,000th episode at the end of last week, with the show’s hosts receiving a special plaque from Guinness World Records.

"I and the whole team are incredibly proud to be part of such a durable and intelligent format that relies on intellect rather than prize money," said the show’s current host Nick Hewer, who also appears on the U.K.’s version of The Apprentice.

"Its 70 [seasons] attest to its class, quality and pure entertainment value," said Guinness World Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday, who described Countdown as a "cornerstone of British popular culture."

Countdown was originally based on the French quiz show Des Chiffres et des Lettres, which has been shown on French TV since 1965 and is currently broadcast on France 3 nationally and TV5Monde across the world.

ITV Studios produces the U.K. show.