Susie Dent, Queen of Countdown’s Dictionary Corner, has a winning way with words which she has spun into her own theatre show.

She will be revealing the Secret Lives of Words when she drops into Swindon and she hopes her special guest will be fellow Countdown regular and former The Apprentice sidekick Nick Hewer, who is originally from the area.

Susie first found her love of language and words as a child when she would be fascinated by the labels on shampoo bottles, reading them while she was sitting in the bath.

On car journeys she would take a copy of the Oxford dictionary to learn new words but she admits she also read the more usual children’s favourite the Famous Five.

“There is a drama to words,’’ she said. “I was an avid reader and a word nerd.’’

For the lexicographer, performing in her own show is really exciting and she says she is particularly looking forward to the Word Surgery she has included.

“I have a few stage nerves but I am looking forward to that,’’ she said. “It is where the audience can bring me their bugbears and we have a good chew over the English language.’’

She has researched each town she is visiting on her UK tour with the aim of introducing unusual words from that region, for example a Wiltshire word is Dimpsy meaning twilight or dusk.

“We also go into dialects and phrases such as bunking off and wagging it meaning to skip school,” she said.

Susie wants her shows to be interactive and will have a ballot box for questions. Any questions about words or language are welcome and she promises she will try to answer them all.

She will also have some video clips from her pals on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown where the comedians try to catch her out. She will also show some out-takes from Countdown itself.

“My favourite is with Richard Whiteley who was such a lovely guy,’’ she said.

She says it is hard to believe that she has been on the TV game show for 25 years, but she thinks its continued popularity is because they are all just one big family. “Nick and Rachel are lovely and it is an addictive format,’’ she said.

The wordsmith has also taken to the comic version like a duck to water and is delighted that she is now being comically abused by Jimmy Carr who hosts the show.

“At first he would treat me with deep respect, but I prefer it now that he teases me as one of the gang,’’ she said. “It was a challenge but once I stopped trying to be funny and let the comedians riff off me, it worked.’’

She was asked to do a cameo appearance as herself in the TV sitcom Not Going Out, which she found a real eye opener.

“The storyline was me and Emma Bunton having a crush on him and our scene was all in a hot tub. It took six hours for that one scene, but I loved it. I would love to do some more - cameos not straight acting.’’

Susie is also a writer with a number of books under her belt and her latest, Modern Tribes, is all about how groups have their own jargon or secret language.

“Some are designed to keep people out and others are shared like footballers or career professionals,’’ said Susie, who admits that at her convent school she had a secret language with her friends.

“When we were told to say our three Hail Marys we called it MH3,’’ she said. “And when I got into rowing I began by catching crabs.’’

Susie’s Secret Lives of Words is coming to the Wyvern Theatre on Wednesday September 19 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £21.50 from 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison