Popular teatime game show Countdown has been forced to apologise to viewers after the letters drawn accidentally spelled out the dark name of Cthulhu.
The show, which features random letters being drawn to challenge contestants to make words, stands accused of precipitating the end of the world after causing the accursed isle of R’lyeh to rise from the ocean depths and spill forth monsters upon benighted humanity.
Broadcaster Channel Four defended itself from criticism and said that the letters drawn were ‘purest chance’.
Concerns were first raised by viewers after contestants were challenged to twist the numbers 2, 2, 5, 6, 9, 25 and 75 through unholy geometries and cause the stars to be right.
This was followed by a contestant winning a letters round with the ten-letter word “Yog-Sothoth” which regular dictionary corner guest Gyles Brandreth accepted was key and the gate and the opener of the way, and praised the contestant for managing to make a ten letter word out of only nine letters.
“That’s only possible if the letters round has been transformed into a blasphemous manuscript,” he told viewers, to chuckles from the audience.
“You’ll see today I’m wearing a knitted sweater sent in by 189-year old Lavinia Whateley of Suffolk, which depicts Shub-Niggurath in all her monstrous glory,” he added.
Eagle-eyed viewers reported Countdown to the Broadcasting watchdog after noting that the book Susie Dent was referring to was not a dictionary, but instead seemed to be some eldritch tome bound in human skin.
The complaints were not upheld after Channel Four confirmed that words contained within the Necronomicon of Abdul al-Hazred were acceptable according to the rules of the show.
Although the summoning forth of the Elder Gods has plunged the earth into a nightmarish eternity of terror and despair, Channel Four confirmed that Countdown has been picked up for another series which is expected to last forever.