Channel 4 urged to name new Leeds HQ after Richard Whiteley

Richard Whiteley, pictured during Countdown's early days in Leeds.
Richard Whiteley, pictured during Countdown's early days in Leeds.

A campaign has been launched calling on Channel 4 to name its new headquarters in Leeds after much-loved television presenter Richard Whiteley.

Richard, who died in 2005, was the first person to be seen on the channel following its launch in the 1980s, hosting the soon-to-be legendary quiz show Countdown from studios in Leeds.

And Channel 4’s imminent move to the city has now been hailed as the perfect opportunity for it to pay tribute to the proud Yorkshireman’s part in its success.

Richard’s partner, Kathryn Apanowicz, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It would be fantastic and rather appropriate as well, I think – the BBC has Wogan House, after all.

“Richard would be absolutely made up. It would be great if the idea was picked up nationwide now and really got some momentum.”

Channel 4 announced last week that Leeds had been chosen as its new home after seeing off competition from Manchester and Birmingham.

Speaking during a visit to the city last Friday, the channel’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, said a decision had yet to be taken on the precise location of its Leeds headquarters.

Asked yesterday for the latest on the broadcaster’s search for a site in Leeds, a Channel 4 spokeswoman told the YEP: “We are currently going through a process of identifying options for where we might be based in the city and we’ll be able to update on that in early 2019.”

Thousands of episodes of Countdown were filmed at ITV’s landmark Kirkstall Road studios in Leeds between Channel 4’s launch in 1982 and 2009, when production of the programme was controversially shifted across the Pennines to Manchester.

For further information about the campaign, search under ‘channel 4 richard whiteley’ on Facebook.

A petition is also up-and-running on the Change.org website.