Richard Whiteley was the first person to appear on Channel 4, presenting Countdown, a programme that is still consistently in the channel's top ten. He is regarded as a cult figure among a broad section of society.
'A face like a cartoonist's suicide note' A.A. Gill, Sunday Times Richard Whiteley was the first person to appear on Channel 4 on Tuesday 2nd November 1982. With the words "As the countdown to the launch of a new channel ends, a new Countdown begins". Nobody was to know, of course, that the new face on the channel was still to be there 17 years later, and that Countdown would be dominating the channels Top Ten ratings. Richard Whiteley is known for his jackets and his puns - opinion is divided as to which is worse. However he is regarded as a cult figure among a broad section of society. He has appeared in such shows as Hale and Pace, TFI Friday, Shooting Stars, Light Lunch, Mrs Merton, Fantasy Football, received a 'Gotcha' from Noel Edmonds and is constantly on the receiving end of Terry Wogan's gentle mockery. He most recently appeared on McCoist and MacAuley and 'The Greatest Rory Ever Told', as himself and as Carol Vordeman. He was the hit of the Edinburgh Fringe this year with his one man show... 'If you like Alan Partridge you'll love Richard Whiteley. Singing along with the Countdown theme and pretending to be the Countdown clock was a stroke of brilliance.' Independent