Gyles Brandreth talks ‘real challenge’ with Susie Dent ‘She has to keep me under control’

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Gyles Brandreth and Susie Dent, 56, are set to go on tour together following the success of their podcast Something Rhymes With Purple. Speaking exclusively to, the 73-year-old discussed what it was like working with the lexicographer.

The pair launched their award-winning podcast back in 2019 where they delve into vocabulary and uncover the hidden origins of language.

Gyles said his co-star had to sometimes keep him under control during recording for the show, as he claimed he often goes off topic.

He spilled: “The real challenge with the podcast is it is about words and language, so Susie does have to keep me a little bit under control otherwise I’m telling too many of my name dropping stories instead of asking about the next word.”

During our chat, the broadcaster was stunned to discover that a widely searched term for the pair is, ‘Are Gyles and Susie married?’

“Not yet,” he joked. “The truth is, I’m old enough to be her dad.”

Although Gyles said the couple are “a little bit” like a married couple, “except I don’t always know what she’s going to say or what she thinks.

He went on to explain how his co-star and wife Michèle Brown, who he married in 1973, are different.

“It’s interesting, the difference between Susie and my wife is my wife is always telling me to sit up, to stand up to improve my posture, whereas Susie is always telling me to hang loose,” he laughed. “She means hang loose about language.

“I get a bit uptight about language, with spelling and punctuation, I think it’s important.

“Susie is much more relaxed about that.”

The Countdown veteran was once described by her co-star Rachel Riley as “pure filth” in an interview with Lorraine back in 2019.

On whether he agreed with the comment, the former politician said he was yet to see that side to Susie.

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“She keeps that for Rachel Riley,” he claimed.

Gyles added: “We do find ourselves talking dirty but only in professional reason.

“We have done a few episodes on rude words, that’s the only time I’ve known Susie to be deliberately [rude].”

He went on to praise his co-star for the way she handles inevitable rude words on Countdown.

“She’s very good at keeping a straight face,” he added.

Gyles and Susie kick off their tour in Bath on November 20.

Tickets for Tilted’s Something Rhymes with Purple Live are available now.

For more information, head to

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