They might live thousands of miles away in Seattle but that was no problem when three Countdown fans heard Huddersfield was staging its own version of the cult classic TV show.
Penny Larsen, her son Jason and family friend John Siler are ardent watchers of Channel 4’s famous test of word play and number skill.
On Saturday they turned up at Canalside on Leeds Road for the town’s very own Countdown-style challenge.
Immortalised by the late Richard Whiteley the show was first screened in 1982 and soon attracted a devoted following not only in this country but around the world.
Organised by James Robinson, of Mirfield, the Countdown-style event even featured the famous trademark clock and all the computerised graphics.
Mum-of-one Penny said they were all delighted with their day and added: “It was my son’s lifelong dream to come to England and take part in the programme.
“We got here on Wednesday and go home on Tuesday.
“Jason loves game shows and he watches Countdown online at home. On Monday we are going to Salford to watch the programme being filmed for real which will be very exciting. He knows all the people and it’s just a dream come true.”
James, a big Huddersfield Town fan, has appeared on several TV game shows including Eggheads, Fifteen to One, Pointless and Breakaway.
He went on Mastermind where Town was his specialist subject but Countdown is his first love. He first appeared on the show with Richard Whiteley at the age of 14.
James has run the Countdown competition several times in Huddersfield but this year’s 38-strong entry was the biggest yet.
He said: “It’s been a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed the day. It’s a way of making new friends too. We all go to the pub afterwards and enjoy socialising together.
“This is the ninth show that I have done, three in St Albans and six in Huddersfield.”
Countdown is one of the longest running game shows in the world with more than 6,000 episodes recorded.
After its emergence in 1982 it quickly became cult viewing thanks to the easy-to-understand format and the chemistry between Richard and Carol Vorderman, a Cambridge graduate and member of Mensa.
Richard died in 2005 aged 61. The programme is now presented by Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s former right hand man on The Apprentice.