Richard Osman reveals 'Pointless' swaps offensive answers for acceptable ones

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Richard Osman poses in front of the winners boards at the National Television Awards 2013 at The O2 Arena on January 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Richard Osman hosts 'Pointless' with Alexander Armstrong. (Getty)

Pointless host Richard Osman has revealed that the BBC show edits out answers that people might consider to be offensive.

Channel 4's Countdown had to apologise this week after a contestant came up with the word “p****er” from the letters A, O, O, E, D, R, P, F, T.

When a Twitter user questioned why the slur was allowed to be said, Osman chimed in to explain what happens on his quiz show.

The TV star explained that offensive words are edited out and the contestant is given a more acceptable alternative to use in a retake.

“Yes, I think, the contestant was embarrassed to be saying it, but in that situation the easy solution is to all agree he scored 7 points and to retake with a different answer,” he said. “We've done that a couple of times with 'correct' answers.”

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He added it was "a very easy fix, and not an uncommon one".

One person asked if that meant the contestant would be given a correct answer for the retake.

Osman – who hosts the programme alongside Alexander Armstrong - replied: “Yep, just retake with a different correct answer (or different incorrect answer).”

“I think it's only come up twice, and both times for incorrect answers,” he added.

One fan said they felt a “little sad” that Pointless would edit answers.

But Osman explained: “If I’d told you why, you would agree 100 per cent, I’m certain of that. And it’s been twice in around 50,000 answers.”

“And the contestants concerned definitely appreciated the edit,” he added.

Countdown apologised earlier this week after contestant Matthew Gould read aloud the slur as a possible answer during the letters round and was awarded seven points.

A spokesperson for the show told Yahoo UK: "The airing of the word was an error of judgement. It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused."

Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong arriving for the 2013 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London.   (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong host the show together. (Getty)

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Gould wrote on Twitter: "I apologise for my part in this. I thought it might be edited differently.

"At the time I said ‘I have an inappropriate seven that I know is in the dictionary or a riskier seven that I’m less sure about’. I thought that bit would be reshot with a non-offensive 7 letter word."

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