Susie Dent leads tribute to Countdown creator Marcel Stellman

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‘We’ve lost our patriarch’: Susie Dent from Dictionary Corner leads tribute (using a nine letter word) as Marcel Stellman, the man who brought Countdown to UK screens, dies aged 96

  • Countdown creator Marcel Stellman died at the age of 96, the family said
  • The Belgian-born daytime TV series maker was also a producer and lyricist
  • Susie Dent from Dictionary Corner led a tribute to the gameshow ‘patriarch’ today

Countdown creator Marcel Stellman has passed away at the age of 96, his family has confirmed.

The Belgium-born creator started his career as a producer and international manager at Decca Records before buying the French TV series Des Chiffres et Des Lettres (Numbers and Letters) and remade in the UK in 1982 as Countdown.

He was also a producer and lyricist who wrote songs for such stars as Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Charles Aznavour, The Shadows and Tony Bennett.

In a statement, his family said today: “ The death was announced on May 2 of Marcel Stellman, 96, former record executive at Decca Records, a prolific lyricist whose hits include Tulips From Amsterdam and the man who performed the Countdown TV game show. to Great Britain, the first program to be broadcast on Channel 4, where it has been broadcast continuously since 1982. ‘

Today, Dictionary Corner ‘s Susie Dent led a tribute to the game show’ patriarch ‘who’ brought to the UK a format that almost everyone played and loved ‘.

The creator of the popular game show Countdown, Marcel Stellman (photo with wife Jean), has passed away at the age of 96, his family has confirmed

The creator of the popular game show Countdown, Marcel Stellman (photo with wife Jean), has passed away at the age of 96, his family has confirmed

Dictionary Corner's Susie Dent led the tribute to the game show's 'patriarch' who 'brought to the UK a format that almost everyone played and loved'

Susie Dent from Dictionary corner led the tribute to the game show 'patriarch' who 'brought to the UK a format that almost everyone played and loved'

Susie Dent from Dictionary corner led the tribute to the game show ‘patriarch’ who ‘brought to the UK a format that almost everyone played and loved’

In a post she wrote: “Very sad news to the Countdown family today: With the death of Marcel Stellman, we have lost our patriarch and most passionate lawyer.

He brought a format to the UK that almost everyone has played and loved. And we loved him. ‘

Meanwhile, former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman, who appeared on the show for 26 years from 1982 to 2008, also paid tribute to the show’s creator.

She wrote: ‘I am so sorry to hear this news Mark … x Marcel and Jeanie and I have had so many happy decades together, paved the way for Countdown in the early days and worked hard together to make it a juggernaut. making then became … Happy days. A wonderfully well-lived. ‘

Stellman’s cousin also wrote on Twitter: “It is with our deepest sorrow that we share with you news of the death of our beloved uncle – Marcel Stellman, 96, who passed away late last night. Marcel is survived by his beloved wife Jean. ‘

Marcel Leopold Stellman was born in Belgium on February 15, 1925 and worked as a producer and international manager at Decca Records from the mid-1950s to 1989, alongside such names as Sir Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Dame Vera Lynn.

Stellman then released the French TV series Des Chiffres et Des Lettres (Numbers and Letters) to the UK as Countdown in 1982.

Stellman worked as a producer and international manager at Decca Records before pitching the gameshow for various networks

Stellman worked as a producer and international manager at Decca Records before pitching the gameshow for various networks

Stellman worked as a producer and international manager at Decca Records before pitching the gameshow for various networks

Fans, including the former Countdown host, took to social media to pay tribute to the gameshow's creator

Fans, including the former Countdown host, took to social media to pay tribute to the gameshow's creator

Fans, including the former Countdown host, took to social media to pay tribute to the gameshow’s creator

Carol Vorderman (pictured with former presenter Richard Whiteley) appeared on the show for 26 years from 1982 to 2008

Carol Vorderman (pictured with former presenter Richard Whiteley) appeared on the show for 26 years from 1982 to 2008

Carol Vorderman (pictured with former presenter Richard Whiteley) appeared on the show for 26 years from 1982 to 2008

He pitched the concept to several networks and it was eventually picked up by Yorkshire Television, which commissioned a run of eight shows.

The series was later bought by a fledgling Channel 4 and became the first program to air after its launch in November 1982, hosted by Richard Whiteley.

After Whiteley’s death in 2005, hosts Des Lynam, Des O’Connor, Jeff Stelling, and Nick Hewer also hosted the show.

Stellman appeared on the program’s festivities for the 2000th episode in 1997, the 3000th episode in 2001 and the 5000th episode in 2010.

His association with television began in the 1940s and 1950s when he presented children’s programs, including Pinky and Perky, where he selected the songs the two pig dolls would sing.

Stellman received a Basca Gold Badge Award in 1988 and an Ivor Novello Award in 1963 as a lyricist for Kathy Kirby’s Dance On.

He lived on Baker Street in London for many years and is survived by his wife Jean.

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