John Richard Whiteley, OBE, DL (28 December 1943 – 26 June 2005) was an English broadcaster and journalist, best known for his twenty-three years as host of the game show Countdown. Countdown was the launch programme for Channel 4 at 4:45 pm on 2 November 1982, and Whiteley was the first person to be seen on the channel (not counting a programme montage). Despite his intelligence, Whiteley enjoyed projecting the image of an absent-minded eccentric. His trademarks were his jolly, avuncular manner, his fondness for excruciatingly bad puns, and his bold, sometimes garish wardrobe.
Thanks to over twenty years' worth of nightly instalments of Countdown as well as his work on the Yorkshire magazine programme Calendar and various other television projects, at the time of his death Whiteley was believed to have clocked more hours on British television screens—and more than 10,000 appearances—than anyone else alive, apart from Carole Hersee, the young girl who appeared on the BBC's iconic Test Card F.
Famous quotes containing the word richard:
“Stay on the beach. The natives over there are cannibals. They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.”
—Earl Felton, and Richard Fleischer. Captain Nemo (James Mason)