Ann Dibben

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Ann Dibben in Series 74.

Ann Dibben was an octochamp in and the runner-up of Series 74 who débuted in Series 18. Notably, her performances in the Series 74 finals (in terms of knockout stages reached, tie-broken by highest scores, and excluding Championship of Champions appearances) make her the most successful female contestant in the history of the 15 round format.

Dibben initially appeared on Countdown in Series 18 in 1989 under her maiden name, Ann Rutter, winning one game and unseating three-time champion Mark Pont before being stopped by David Ware. In April 2016, she was readmitted to the show and made a much greater mark, becoming an octochamp, notching up a total of 884 points and never falling below 99 in any single game. She was the only woman to win a game in Series 74.

This run was successful enough to allow Dibben to enter the series finals in June as #3 seed. Here, her first opponent was the octochamp and Apterite Tim Down. Dibben maintained a narrow lead for most of the game, but Down achieved a perfect solution on the final four large numbers game to lead 106 – 97 going into the crucial conundrum. Roughly one second before the end of time, Dibben solved MAGICPORT to win by just one point. In the semi-finals, Dibben was again placed in a close matchup, this time against Robin McKay, and yet again she prevailed by a single point on a crucial conundrum, this one being unsolved. Finally, Dibben took on Paul Erdunast in the series grand final, and despite Erdunast having spotting UROKINASE in Round 1, she came back with PHOBIAS and managed to stick quite closely behind his score, remaining in contention until Erdunast sealed victory prior to the last numbers game. However, Dibben had the last word by unravelling the conundrum HOLYCIGAR in two seconds to lose 116 – 105 and become the first woman to have ever scored a century in a series grand final.

Dibben will return to Countdown in January 2019 to participate in the Championship of Champions XV as the tournament’s only female player. She will do battle with John Cowen in the first round.

Preceded by
Matthew Tassier
Series runner-up
Series 74
Followed by
Andrew Macleod


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
900 23/08/1989 P Ann Rutter 63 – 59 Mark Pont Brian Johnston Della Thompson 76
901 24/08/1989 P Ann Rutter 38 – 40 David Ware Brian Johnston Della Thompson 74
6342 12/04/2016 P Tom Coward 55 – 117 Ann Dibben Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 153
6343 13/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 107 – 45 Ashton Gardner Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 133
6344 14/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 99 – 33 John Billitteri Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 124
6345 15/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 118 – 60 Paul Lonsdale Dave Myers Susie Dent 131
6346 18/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 102 – 54 Ben Manuell Dave Myers Susie Dent 129
6347 19/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 112 – 63 Neville Spiers Dave Myers Susie Dent 124
6348 20/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 101 – 37 Sean Taylor Dave Myers Susie Dent 130
6349 21/04/2016 P Ann Dibben 128 – 28 Nick Ferguson Dave Myers Susie Dent 145
6380 20/06/2016 QF Ann Dibben 107 – 106 Tim Down Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 127
6383 23/06/2016 SF Robin McKay 112 – 113 Ann Dibben Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 144
6384 24/06/2016 GF Paul Erdunast 116 – 105 Ann Dibben Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 135
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