Fans of the long-running afternoon quiz show, including some famous names and even the contestant himself, questioned why the word ‘p***ter’ was not edited out of a recent show.
TV critic Scott Bryan said: “As someone who was called a ‘p***ter’ by homophobes on a daily basis, why on earth is Countdown allowing it to be said cheerfully as an answer on daytime television?
“Yes, I know it is in the dictionary. But having been at the receiving end of that word as abuse for years (along with f***ing), then hearing it casually as an answer on a quiz show.”
Pointless host Richard Osman also weighed in, and questioned why it was not edited out, saying: “The contestant was embarrassed to be saying it, but in that situation, the easy solution is to all agree he scored seven points and to retake with a different answer.
“We’ve done that a couple of times with ‘correct’ answers.”
He added: “A very easy fix and not an uncommon one.”
The contestant, Matt Gould, from Whitley Bay, who said the word even agreed.
“I apologise for my part in this,” he said. “I thought it might be edited differently.
“At the time I said ‘I have an inappropriate 7 that I know is in the dictionary or a riskier 7 that I’m less sure about’.
“I thought that bit would be reshot with a non-offensive 7 letter word.”
Channel Four admitted they had got it wrong, blaming “an error of judgement”.
“The airing of the word was an error of judgement,” the channel said.
“It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused.”