Game show gran comes forward

Memory Lane darts presentation Ripley
Memory Lane darts presentation Ripley

THE picture we featured in last week’s Ripley and Heanor News’ Memory Lane, of Countdown game show contestant Dorothy George, prompted an overwhelming response from readers – not least Dorothy herself.

After spotting herself in the article a surprised 89-year-old Dorothy, of Horsley Road, Kilburn, contacted us.

Memory Lane Ripley Countdown.

Memory Lane Ripley Countdown.

The great-grandmother of six was bowled over to see her picture in the paper. She was happy to report she is alive and well, and still has no problems solving the questions on Countdown today.

Sadly Dorothy revealed she lost in the Countdown episode she appeared in.

She recalled: “The atmosphere in the studio that day was really very good. I’ve no idea why I called up to go on. I really don’t, but it was a wonderful two days.”

Episode 425 featuring Dorothy was broadcast on May 7, 1986, as part of Series nine.

NRHNBE110620b2, Dorothy George 89 from Kilburn seen holding photos from her time as a contestant on countdown.

NRHNBE110620b2, Dorothy George 89 from Kilburn seen holding photos from her time as a contestant on countdown.

Dorothy played Laurie Puddefoot, with Laurie winning 50 to 41.

According to Dorothy, she took the final ten-point ‘conundrum’ round, but was already too far behind to beat her opponent, who was the current champion.

The Dictionary Corner guest was Steve Jones, and the lexicographer was Della Thompson.

Dorothy said the episode she appeared in was only scheduled to be filmed over the course of a single day, but due to a mechanical fault with the iconic Countdown clock, she was forced to come back the next day to resume the game.

It is for this reason that The One Show’s Gyles Brandreth appeared in the picture we featured, but was not the guest in the televised show, as he was not available to film on the second day.

Dorothy was a well known figure in the Ripley and Heanor area.

She was the district commissioner for the Girl Guides and as a trained nurse and midwife, delivered hundreds of children at Heanor Memorial Hospital.

She spent 15 years in Australia, at one point working as a ‘bush nurse’ in a medical centre in the rainforests of Tazmania.

She is still an avid fan of the show and still completes all the puzzles in the newspaper every day.

She said: “I still get the conundrum round right every time and I’m still pretty good at the numbers game!”

l Our other Memory Lane picture last week also prompted many calls telling us the presentation was a darts and dominoes league one, which our prize wining ladies were featured at.

Anne Beardsley, of Friar Road, Eastwood, said her late mum Gwennie West, who died in 2001 is in the picture, second from the right on the middle row. Mrs Beardsley also said she recognised Margaret Johnson in the shot.

Beryl Smith, 75, from Heage also identified some of the faces. She said, from left, on the far left is Beryl herself, then Linda Evans, Cath Evans, Jean Taylor, Ivy Coope and Maureen Beardsley. At the front is Valerie Evans, left, and Shirley Evans, right. She believes it was the Marehay Ladies’ Darts and Dominoes League presentation evening at the White Horse in Heage.