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Susie Dent

From Countdown
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Susie Dent.jpg
First appearance 25 December 1997
Last appearance 25 December 1997
Appearances 1
Episodes with Susie Dent
First appearance 29 June 1992
Last appearance incumbent
Appearances 5,482
Episodes with Susie Dent
For the contestant in Series 32, see Suzanne Dent.

Susie Dent is a lexicographer on Countdown. Her first appearance in Dictionary Corner was on 29 June 1992. 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. She 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 grand final.

She returned to the programme in February 2008, and has performed almost all lexicography work ever since, with the exception of Lemn Sissay standing in for the "Black to Front" special in 2021. Unlike in 2007, if Dent is unavailable for filming there is no longer a stand-in: when she was absent from 30 shows during Anne Robinson's tenure due to COVID-19, the celebrity guests adjudicated words in her place. Dent was still credited while absent due to her narrating the programme's contact details before the credits roll.

She oversaw the final episodes presented by Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Carol Vorderman, Des O'Connor, Jeff Stelling, Nick Hewer and Anne Robinson. In total, Dent has appeared on 5,482 episodes of Countdown, and has appeared more than anyone else, overhauling Vorderman's total in April 2021. Beginning in Series 72 in 2015, Dent has been credited as a co-presenter alongside Rachel Riley.

Dent's close association with Countdown has been acknowledged through variations of her name having featuring as conundrums on many occasions, some of them even incorporating her first name or surname. Some of the following are:

Since Series 57, Dent has been given a regular slot called Origins of Words, in which she explains the derivations of well-known words or phrases. As well as being a native English speaker, she is fluent in French and German and often makes comments on the etymologies of words derived from those two languages. She has also on occasion been called upon to assist Dictionary Corner guests Geoffrey Durham and Paul Zenon during their magic tricks. 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. She has two daughters, Lucy (born 11 February 2000) and Thea (born 22 October 2007).

She has also appeared as the lexicographer in every episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and in 2015, she finally appeared as a contestant in Episode Cats41.

On 29 June 2017, Dent celebrated her 25th anniversary as Countdown lexicographer, and that day's programme featured several tributes and gifts to her, with that day's Dictionary Corner guest Colin Murray reading a poem on her behalf and Nick Hewer presenting her with a postcard signed by Arsène Wenger, the manager of her favoured football club Arsenal.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
Cats41 03/07/2015 S Rachel Riley,
Roisin Conaty
& Sean Lock
44 – 22 Sarah Millican,
Rhod Gilbert
& Susie Dent
Jimmy Carr Rachel Riley David O'Doherty Susie Dent 71

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