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Steph McGovern catches out Countdown star Susie Dent with word ‘no one understood’

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Steph McGovern, 38, was surprised when she got one up on Countdown’s Susie Dent, 55, after she failed to recognise a word during a game of “word up” on her show Steph’s Packed Lunch. Susie looked stumped when Steph delivered the unique phrase that she revealed originated from Middlesborough.

I don’t know what a tarzie is!

Susie Dent

“This is a Middlesborough phrase that I say, that no one understood when it happened to me,” the host giggled before reading aloud the statement.

“I fell off a tarzie into a beck – what happened to me?”

The camera panned onto a clueless Susie, who wasn’t too sure.

“I don’t know what a tarzie is!” she complained.

“A beck is a little stream…”

Steph interjected: “Correct.”

Susie continued: “But I have no idea what a tarzie is!”

The former BBC Breakfast star grinned as Susie failed the round.

“A tarzie is a swing, so I fell off a swing into a beck,” she said as the Countdown star sighed.

The Channel 4 sensation has long been a favourite on the quiz show fronted by Jeremy Paxman for a staggering 28 years, however before finding fame, she revealed she actually turned down the opportunity three times before finally agreeing.

Speaking to Steph about her TV career, she told her the first time she went on set was “terrifying”.

“It was terrifying because I had said no three times,” she laughed.

“It was an arrangement with OUP [Oxford University Press] where I worked and we published the dictionaries used on the show.”

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Recalling the moment, Susie remembered: “My boss said, ‘I think it would be a really good thing to do,’ and there were loads of us who rotated and it just wasn’t something I thought I wanted to do.

“You know me, Steph, I don’t like being above the radar, so I said no.”

Susie told Steph and her viewers what it took for her to change her mind.

“I was eventually persuaded, thank goodness because I love it,” she shared.

“Thank god Rula Lenska had big hair is all I can say, because I kept trying to hide behind it.”

Steph went on to ask: “What convinced you to do it in the end?”

The lexicographer responded: “He said to me it would be very good for my job.

“Oh, it was kind of a threat!” Steph remarked, before Susie agreed: “Yep, but I’m really glad that I did.”

Steph’s Packed Lunch continues weekdays at 12:30pm on Channel 4 followed by Countdown at 2.10pm.

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