19/01/2012 05:25 GMT | Updated 19/01/2012 06:12 GMT

Countdown 'W**ker' Blooper Is New Host Nick Hewer's First Embarrassing Anagram Snafu (Video)

Lord Sugar's one-time business adviser Nick Hewer has been hosting Channel 4's beloved anagram and arithmatic gameshow Countdown since 9 January.

And just nine days since his first gig, he enjoyed his first rude word anagram blooper yesterday, with contestant Mark Murphy taking the letters RAEPKWAEN and offering up "w**ker" for six points.

Sensibly enough for a show that's on-air from 3.15pm, the programme's producers bleeped out the offending word, and Hewer, as professional as ever, carried on with nary a smirk.

Since the amusing incident, a Channel 4 spokesperson has clarified the situation by saying that the word is not, strictly speaking, actually swearing - it's "vulgar language".

The Daily Mirror points out that it's not the first time the channel's longest running show has heard the word on-air. In 1991, two contestants both offered up the word "w**kers", prompting Richard Whitely to say: "It'll be interesting to see if that's in the dictionary."

Since then, it's cropped up in 2003, and again in 2008, and on both occasions it elicited titters from audiences at home and in the studio - and maybe even a few hand signals.