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Richard Whiteley's Biography

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Richard Whiteley was born in December 1943 in Bradford, Yorkshire, and died in June 2005.

He was the first ever person seen on Channel 4, when Countdown launched the channel in 1982. He never missed a show presenting the long-running quiz until 2005 when he started suffering from pneumonia.

Richard Whiteley rivalled test card girl, Carole Hersee as the most-seen face on British TV.

Richard Whiteley was the son of a mill-owner and attended Giggleswick public school and Christ's College, Cambridge, where he also edited Varsity, the university newspaper.

Whiteley joined Yorkshire Television as a news reporter before going on to host Calendar. In 1977 he was viciously attacked on Calendar by a ferret.

Richard Whiteley developed a laid-back slightly naff but appealing style on Countdown that proved very popular. His image contrasted with the other Countdown regular, Carol Vorderman.

Richard Whiteley was married briefly in the 1960s. For the eleven years before his death, he went out with Kathryn Apanowicz, who played Dirty Den's mistress, Mags, in EastEnders.

Whiteley had a cameo role playing himself as Countdown presenter in the 2002 film, About a Boy.

In June 2004, Richard Whiteley was awarded the OBE.

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