Leighton Buzzard man stars on Channel 4’s Countdown and wins teapot for granddaughter

Ray in action. Credit: Channel 4.
Ray in action. Credit: Channel 4.

A Leighton Buzzard man was proud to compete in one of his favourite television shows - Channel 4’s Countdown - and was thrilled to win its coveted teapot.

Ray Greenall, 64, of Adams Bottom, took part in two episodes of the programme, which were aired on June 11 and 12, winning with a score of 86 in the first, and facing defeat in the second.

Kitty with her birthday present - the teapot!

Kitty with her birthday present - the teapot!

In order to be selected for the show, Ray had to take part in a tough telephone audition and play number and letter games, before heading to Media City in Salford for filming.

Ray said: “It was a good experience. I have watched the programme for years on and off, and happened to be watching six months ago when they were looking for applicants.

“They came back to me very quickly.

“I gave the Countdown teapot to my granddaughter, Kitty, as it was her ninth birthday yesterday, and now she wants to watch the show after school - even though Granddad’s not in it anymore.”

Kitty with her sisters Lily and Mabelle. Ray went down to see them in Brighton for Kitty's birthday.

Kitty with her sisters Lily and Mabelle. Ray went down to see them in Brighton for Kitty's birthday.

Ray says his strongest subjects at school were always Maths and English, but admits that the optimum age to apply for the show is probably 40 - “when your brain’s a bit quicker”.

After his experience in the studio, he can also confirm that when people say it’s more difficult playing on set than at home, it’s true!

Ray added: “My favourite part was meeting Rachel Riley and Susie Dent. They are both brilliant and do their best to put you at ease.

“Nick - he’s in charge.

“I was also relieved when the make up team said I didn’t need much work. They let a couple of people go before me - they had lost a little bit more hair...”

Ray, who is retired, has lived in Leighton Buzzard for seven years, and between them, he and his wife Eileen have seven children and 11 grandchildren.

You can watch Ray’s episodes by visiting the Catch Up section on Channel 4’s website and searching for Countdown.