First, head over to our registration page. Your account will be manually approved, which may take a little while if you apply at odd times of day; however there's no selection process, this is just to keep spammers out. Once your account is approved, introduce yourself in the Welcome thread, and then get posting! Some new users like to lurk for a little while to see how the board works before posting anything themselves, and this is no bad idea.
Why do I have to sign up with my real name?
Two reasons. The first is that interacting with people under their real name creates a much greater sense of community, and this place really is a community - many of the members here have known each other for a long time and have usually met in real life (see later.) The second is because people seem less inclined to start throwing around bile when they have their name attached to it; and, contrariwise, when people do throw bile around, you know they mean it. Generally we ask people to use their full name, although in some circumstances (e.g. kids) we're happy with something less specific.
I'm not very good and this forum is inhabited by past champions! Should I just keep quiet?
Please don't! Many present champions were raised on this forum, and we'd like to keep that going into the future. But note, modesty rules: you should be prepared for some pretty robust responses if you have an inflated sense of your own ability. Most people have no idea how good the top players really are.
I want to know more about Countdown! Where should I start?
The following other sites are likely to be useful to anyone interested in Countdown. You should check them out now, you funk soul brother.
- Countdown @ Wikipedia: A good concise overview of the programme. Excellent for new-comers to the show.
- apterous.org: Play the game online. Critically acclaimed (Maxim magazine: 5 stars.)
- The Countdown Page: The original archive of all things Countdown. You should especially read the Experiences page to get a great glimpse into the history and mythology of the programme.
- The Countdown Wiki: Includes pages about every contestant, episode and series since Countdown began. Can answer many commonly-asked questions.
- The Countdown Database (CDB): Includes detailed round-by-round recaps of over 1000 episodes, and many statistics and records from the programme.
- The C4Countdown Podcast: Unscripted meanderings about the show, presented by me and that ginger genius Jon O'Neill.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an electronic or paper application form. Once you return this, you'll be invited to an audition, hopefully fairly near you. The audition is purely a test of skill; you won't be assessed on your haircut, dress sense or personality (as is probably obvious from watching the show.) If you pass this then you'll be given a filming date, which will be somewhere between a few weeks and a few months in the future.
What is an octochamp?
The general series of Countdown follows a "winner stays on" format, so each day's winner returns the next day to face a new opponent. However a player can only accumulate a maximum of 8 wins, after which they are declared an "octochamp" and get to retire gracefully - until the series finals! The series finals collect up the top 8 players from the current series (approximately six months) and invite them back for a knock-out tournament to decide the series winner. The top 8 is decided by wins and then total points, so it typically includes all the octochamps from the series and a few other good players.
What are COLIN, CONOT and COBRIS?
These are unofficial Countdown competitions held annually in Lincoln, Nottingham and Bristol respectively. Many great players (past, present and future) attend these tournaments but they're open to everyone and it's a fantastically fun day, so feel free to come along. The COLIN website is a good place to start.