Help save Letters and Numbers

2012-09-24 23:14
Susan Childs
Mortdale, NSW 2223
LAN Bring it back
As a dedicated fan of Countdown in England for most of the 90's, I was so happy to see it televised in it's own australian version. Loved seeing Aussies on it, loved Lily Serna, loved David Astle.... The Australian format was good and fun to watch.
My 8 yo son became addicted and loved the show and was gutted when it was canned. Talk about a great way to get kids thinking about Maths and literacy!
Since the English Countdown has been televised we have watched a few times but the show seems so removed from Australian version and just doesn't hold the same interest for us or our children.

Please bring it back, a discerning show fostering the love of learning in our youth AND restarting the brains of the middle aged
2012-09-22 12:09
Diane Orton
Pearl Beach NSW
'Letters and Numbers'
I'm devastated!

SBS's 'Letters and Numbers' was the best thing on TV. So many of my friends and family say it's their favourite show. How can something so popular, so educational and so enjoyable be discontinued? It makes me question the ratings process.

2012-09-21 18:42
Liz (again)
Postal address for SBS
In answer to Roger Hooton: The Managing Director of SBS is Michael Ebeid
The Postal address is SBS Corp., Locked Bag 028, Crows Nest, NSW 1585.
What an excellent idea for people to write to him directly AND enclose a stamped, addressed envelope for him to reply.
Go to it L&N fans!! There's hope yet!
2012-09-20 13:36
Derek Fountaine (again)
In support of Liz
Yes, I keep coming back - ain't doin' any good tho'!!! Your conversation, Liz, with one of the Powers-that-be on SBS was interesting. I had guessed some time ago that we were probably banging our heads against a brick wall! I think it all comes down to $$$!! Richard, Lilly & David are processionals of the highest order, if they cannot name their own price, they should be able to! When British TV offers a second rate show at Bargain Basement prices...! Well, if it's cheaper to buy that load of dross instead of paying R;L&D what they are worth... No amount of banter from us will shake them, it's their inflated salaries they are guarding, not the best presenters in the business!

Just as an aside, I am not banner waving out of any national pride, I am not an Aussie but a British Born Kiwi, I watch Aus TV because here in Vanuatu it is either that or French! Really there is no choice. I went to Australia once in 1966 and have never been back. But, of all the Aussie TV we watch in this backwater - apart from Sport - L&N is by far our favourite! So to all you proud Aussies, you have every reason to be proud of that show!

2012-09-19 15:19
Roger Hooton
Barossa. SA
Thanks Geoff Bailey for Re. Countdown viewing figures
I have just checked out the link you gave and it is very interesting reading. I just wonder now how much each programme of Letters & Numbers cost to produce and then screen and then compared with the daily purchase fee and screen cost of Countdown? Anybody able to give any figures please.
2012-09-19 15:18
John Knight
Maybe we should stop trying to convince SBS and re-focus our efforts on convincing the ABC to take up the show (where I feel it would better belong), and perhaps some kind of petitioning of the Education Minister to advocate L&N? I realise there's the issue of ad-breaks in the current format, but maybe the ABC could cut to a newsbreak and some kind of Dr Karl fun fact segment. Education wise, Letters and Numbers should be a much-loved national institution, and on the ABC it could realise its full potential.
2012-09-19 15:12
Roger Hooton
Barossa. SA
REF 2012-09-19 13:55 Liz Downes Townsville Maintain the rage- send this link to SBS
I think most of us would appreciate the name of the CEO of SBS and a POSTAL address so that we could write our complaints direct to that person. Ask for a personal reply and enclose a stamped addressed envelope for his/her reply. I feel that direct letter, with the SAE, would be a better protest than doing by email which would be un-read. A failure by SBS CEO to send a reply using your SAE could be reported to the Federal Communications Minister.
We could also try writing to the Communications Minister about SBS's poor programming and lack of interest in viewers complaints.
2012-09-19 15:10
Geoff Bailey
Newtown, Sydney
Re. Countdown viewing figures
With respect to ratings performance, David Knox wrote a piece a couple of weeks back about how Countdown is doing compared to Letters and Numbers. The answer is: Not well.

The piece is at
2012-09-19 13:55
Liz Downes
Maintain the rage- send this link to SBS
OK, I'm back - having had some to and fro exchanges with an SBS masculine-gendered spokesperson who, after a bit of soft-soaping and pussy-footing (David Astle could explain the origins of these phrases) finally became exasperated by my persistence and told it to me straight "L&N did not rate well enough so it had to be cut". I could almost see the smug look and hear the snap of his jaws as he said this.
Well, no way was he going to have the last word, so I asked what would happen if Countdown rated lower (as surely it must - I gave it one last try yesterday and found it beyond boring). Could we please have our ball back then, please, please? But it seems he's no longer speaking to me.
Here's one thing to ponder on - in all the decades that Countdown has been screening, none of the presenters or contestants have ever come up with anything like L&N's wonderful array of nicknames for the various number selections (rat pack, family mix etc) or for other feats ("full monty" for a 9-letter word or "kitchen sink" for using all the numbers). If that's not an indication of how the UK program totally lacks fun, creativity, invention and wit I don't know what is.
I don't want to give up, but how do we knock some sense into these people? Maybe we should all send the link to this Comments page to SBS so they can see what they really think. If they still don't want it why don't they give it to ABC?
2012-09-18 16:40
David Astle - where are you when you are needed
The world has gone crazy with chair people chair women chair things and noone is screaming for David Astle to please tell the world that Chairman has no gender - that it comes from manis the hand that guides the meeting or similar. I don't know - you do - please please speak up!
At least come back with Letters and Numbers - you are obviously the only man able to do the job impressively.