A contestant on Countdown was shocked after Channel 4 aired his seven-letter gay slur.

After the show aired the word “p*****r”, Matt Gould, from Whitley Bay, said he was surprised it was included in the show’s edit. He told The Mirror: “I apologise for my part in this. I thought it might be edited differently.

“At the time I said ‘I have an inappropriate 7 that I know is in the dictionary or a riskier 7 that I’m less sure about’.

“I thought that bit would be reshot with a non offensive 7 letter word.”

Pointless host Richard Osman also said he was surprised the offensive word wasn’t cut from Monday’s show.

He said: “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. We’ve done that a couple of times with ‘correct’ answers.”

He added: “A very easy fix, and not an uncommon one.”

Journalist Scott Bryan said: “As someone who was called a “p*****r” by homophobes on a daily basis why on earth is Countdown allowing it to be said cheerfully as an answer on daytime television?Yes, I know it is in the dictionary.

“But having been at the receiving end of that word as abuse for years (along with f*****), then hearing it casually as an answer on a quizshow.”

He added: “The amount of people saying ‘it is only a word,’ I’m pretty sure it was only a word back in the classrooms back then too. Yet it feels the same.”

And writer and former NHS Doctor Adam Kay said:

Channel 4 has now apologised. They toldThe Mirror, : “The airing of the word was an error of judgement. It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused.”

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