To paraphrase Shakespeare, some achieve the jumping of the shark, others have the jumping of the shark thrust upon them. To explain: it would be a tad unfair to blame the demise of Countdown on the death of Richard Whiteley; it’s not as if the show’s producers made an executive decision to have him rubbed out to cut costs. But it would also be disingenuous not to acknowledge the show’s painful decline since his passing, a decline during which the shark has been vaulted time and again.
Shark No 1: the show’s inability to settle on a decent replacement for Whiteley. Warm, suave, ladies-of-a-certain-age’s man Des Lynam seemed the perfect successor, but when it became apparent that neither he (based in Worthing) nor the