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September's Featured Article

Susie Dent.jpg

Susie Dent (born September 1967) is a lexicographer on Countdown. Her first appearance in Dictionary Corner was on 29 June 1992, aged 24. At the time, the role of lexicographer rotated regularly between a group of members of the Oxford University Press (OUP) – most commonly Richard Samson and later Alison Heard – and occasionally members of the Countdown production team, Mark Nyman and Damian Eadie. For Series 50, Dent became a recurring member of the on-screen team, appearing in all but 15 episodes, and in total she has appeared on over 2000 episodes of Countdown.

Dent adjudicated every episode from 24 August 2004 until 9 May 2007, when the late Michael Wylie stepped in under the pseudonym "Susie Gent" to cover a bout of illness. Later in 2007, she took three months' maternity leave, allowing Heard to return for the last two months of Series 57, including the series final. She returned to the programme in February 2008, and has performed all lexicography work since. She oversaw the final episodes presented by Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O'Connor, Jeff Stelling and Carol Vorderman.

Dent's close association with Countdown has been acknowledged through variations of her name twice featuring as conundrums: the Series 31 final used the scramble SUSISDENT, and on 22 March 2005 the conundrum was SUSIEDANT. Since Series 57, Dent has been given a regular slot prior to the second numbers round called Origins of Words, in which she explains the derivations of well-known words or phrases. Away from Countdown, Dent authored a series of annual Language Reports for the OUP between 2003 and 2007, and continues to write about the ongoing evolution of the English language. As well as her native English, she is fluent in French and German. (more...)

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