The BBC star made the admission after Countdown came under fire this week when a competitor’s answer of a seven-letter gay slur was left in the programme.
Richard was questioned why the answer hadn’t been edited out, explaining that contestants on Pointless would be given a different response to say that would be worth the same score.
He tweeted: “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.”
Asked if the Pointless hosts give the contestants replacement correct answer for the retake, Richard said: “Yep, just retake with a different correct answer (or different incorrect answer).”
Shooting down one person who suggested it raised concerns about “freedom of speech”, Richard said: “If I’d told you why, you would agree 100 per cent, I’m certain of that. And it’s been twice in around 50,000 answers.”
Richard also clarified that “BBC bosses” have “never edited out answers”, adding: “Twice in 1800 shows contestants have inadvertently given offensive answers (stuff that wouldn’t air on any TV show, let alone at 5.15) and I’ve drawn their attention to it in the studio.”
Channel 4 has apologised for broadcasting the gay slur during an episode of Countdown earlier this week, admitting they had got it wrong.
“The airing of the word was an error of judgement,” the broadcaster said.
“It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused.”
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.”