Brett Smitheram was a finalist in Series 37. He was a 19-year-old Law Student from Exeter.
He debuted on 21 October 1997 with victory over Scrabble player Kate Surtees who, despite losing her 8th game, held her position as #1 seed. All his wins were half-centuries. After losing his 7th game by one point, he returned to the quarter-finals in December as #3 seed but lost on a tie-break conundrum to Ruth Collier.
He is also one of the world's most successful Scrabble Grandmasters, and has been playing competitive Scrabble since 1996. He is the 2016 World Scrabble Champion, as well as the 2000 National Scrabble Champion and a four-time winner of the British Matchplay Scrabble Championship. He beat Mark Nyman 3 games to 0 in the final of the MSI World Championships, held in Lille, France. His second win came from 176 points behind, similar to one of Nyman's fight backs in the 1993 World Scrabble Championship final. Coincidentally, Nyman was the lexicographer at the time of Smitheram's quarter-final appearance as well as the show's producer.
Smitheram, the third British World Scrabble Champion, has also been ranked number one in the UK and the world. He is an ambassador for Mind Sports Academy, regularly challenges players to speed games in the MSI Sports Room and has launched a petition to reclassify Scrabble, Chess and Go as recognised sports in the UK.
In 2017, Smitheram appeared on the Micky Flanagan show Thinking Aloud on Sky One.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|2119||21/10/1997||P||Kate Surtees||44 – 59||Brett Smitheram||Geoffrey Durham||Anna Eaton||81|
|2120||22/10/1997||P||Brett Smitheram||50 – 28||Sylvia Bell||Geoffrey Durham||Anna Eaton||73|
|2121||23/10/1997||P||Brett Smitheram||52 – 45||Colin Harwood||Angela Rippon||Anna Eaton||67|
|2122||24/10/1997||P||Brett Smitheram||55 – 29||Betty Cunningham||Angela Rippon||Anna Eaton||85|
|2123||27/10/1997||P||Brett Smitheram||53 – 31||Jonathan Goldstone||Angela Rippon||Anna Eaton||70|
|2124||28/10/1997||P||Brett Smitheram||59 – 52||Jeff Schwartz||Angela Rippon||Anna Eaton||71|
|2125||29/10/1997||P||Brett Smitheram||44 – 45||Alan Cameron||Angela Rippon||Anna Eaton||77|
|2158||15/12/1997||QF||Brett Smitheram||44 – 54*||Ruth Collier||Gyles Brandreth||Mark Nyman||84|
|S7||3/09/2003||S||Brett Smitheram||87 – 101||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Richard Stilgoe||Damian Eadie||118|