Save Letters and Numbers, every nerd’s favourite show!
So SBS plans to “rest” letters and numbers, which is TV speak for unceremoniously killing it and buying a cheaper British version. No. This cannot be happening. Say it ain’t so, SBS.
There are the things in life which deserve a rest, like a nice rump steak, or Black Caviar, or a football team the week before it plays Greater Western Sydney.
Letters and Numbers needs nothing of the sort. What it needs is a big fat contract guaranteeing its existence for years, so the nerds and dorks of Australia can come together each night at 6pm and revel – unashamed and unclothed – in their glorious dorkdom and nerddom.
The thing you have to remember is how infuriatingly, suffocatingly cool the world is today. Every time you turn on the telly, there’s some impossibly hip rock star named after an animal with flippers turning around in their chair and saying “hey hot thang, you can hang with my gang”.
Letters and Numbers is not cool. It is no Game of Thrones, or as we anagram-obsessed L&N freaks prefer to call it “Home Nag Forest”. And no, I didn’t go to anagrammer.com to work that out. The letters morphed instantly, for L&N has made my mind both nimble and swift.
I am not alone. Each weeknight, my entire household endures the tedium of Deal or No Deal as we count down the minutes till 6pm. And then it begins, with that theme music which evokes images of dancing numerals and letters busily readying themselves for our pleasure!
We love everything about the show. The enthralling gameplay. The contestants, who apparently are forced to wear the unloved shirt at the bottom of their cupboard, and to keep them unironed at all costs. But above all, we love the hosts.
Richard Morecroft, with his mane of silver and black, as lustrous and impermeable as the pelt of the Siberian fox.
Wordsmith and professional crossword torturer David Astle, all mussed-up as though he’s just gotten out of an unbelievably sweaty romp with a dozen thesauruses and the really big fat version of the complete Oxford Dictionary.
And Lily Serna. How to describe Lily Serna and keep my marriage alive at the same time?
Let’s just say that you might’ve thought Adriana Xenides could turn a mean letter. But Lily Serna does that and more. She is the Loren of letters and the Nigella of numbers.
What Lily Serna does with a whiteboard and texta and that keen microprocessor she calls her mind is… oh but wait, I said I’d try and preserve my marriage today.
In an interesting but completely true coincidence, Shane Warne tweeted just last night: “Maths was so easy until they decided to mix the alphabet in it.”
He is wrong. The fusion of the alphabet and maths is exactly what makes Letters and Numbers so special. They go together, just like the combination of Soccer, Boobs and Soccer which gave SBS its name and which form the backbone (we can only presume) of the network’s official charter.
For the record, Shane Warne also also tweeted overnight : “This is how my week goes: Mooooooonday, Tuuuuuuuesday, Weeeeeeednesday, Thuuuuuuursday, FridaySaturdaySunday.”
Warne’s point about the drudgery of the working week was well made, even if it’s impossible to imagine just what he actually does for a living that’s so dreary.
The sad part is, he is right. Weekdays will become simply intolerable if SBS bosses persist with their small-minded plan to dump Australia’s greatest TV Show.
I don’t know, maybe they’re just sooking because they didn’t get last night’s conundrum.
If you’re also a nerd, join me on Twitter @antsharwood
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